Judge clears Va. Beach EMS captain of strangulation charge

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A judge found a a Virginia Beach EMS captain not guilty of a felony strangulation charge.

After a bench trial Wednesday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Judge Padrick said he finds the behavior of David Baust “assaultive,” but said it did not rise to the level of felony strangulation, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Baust was accused of choking his girlfriend last February and charged with felony strangulation and assault and battery. Those charges were dismissed during a preliminary hearing three months later, but the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney brought the felony charge back through a grand jury.

Baust filed a protective order against his girlfriend the same day he is accused of choking her. She was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery and later found not guilty.

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