Yarmouth man accused of choking fiancee, trying to destroy children’s presents

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PORTLAND — A Yarmouth man allegedly attempted to destroy his children’s Christmas presents and choke his fiancee in a fit of rage Sunday night.

Austin Baker, 27, appeared in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court Monday afternoon to be arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, domestic violence criminal threatening and obstruction of the reporting of a crime.

According to the court affidavit filed by Yarmouth Police Department Officer Derek Lucas, he and fellow Officer Joshua Robinson went to 2 Ipswich Court in Yarmouth at 4:46 p.m. Sunday after a domestic violence report.

The police found Baker’s fiancee and her nearly 3-month-old baby. The fiancee reported that Baker interrupted her 911 call and fled in her vehicle.

Baker was found nearly four hours later by police at a local pizza parlor and taken into custody.

Lucas said the victim reported that Baker had arrived home drunk from a bar, kicked the door open before she could get the chain unlatched and launched into an “angry rage.” She told police he threatened to kill her and screamed in the infant’s face.

“Austin went upstairs and proceeded to break things up there,” the victim wrote in her own affidavit. “He threw all the kids’ presents from ‘Santa’ that were in the bedroom, saying they didn’t deserve them.”

When Baker allegedly stepped outside for a cigarette, the victim locked herself in the bathroom and called 911. Baker then allegedly kicked the bathroom door in, interrupted the call and began choking her, again threatening to kill her.

According to the victim’s affidavit, Baker “joked” that he wanted to kill her with a knife to watch her suffer more.

Baker allegedly told police when they arrested him that his fiancee hit him first and that set him off.

Attorney Luke Rioux, representing Baker in court Monday, said the 27-year-old has four children and was honorably discharged from the military in 2012 after eight years of service.

“Since his discharge, he’s certainly had his problems dealing with what he experienced overseas,” Rioux told the court Monday.

Bail was set for Baker at $5,000, with conditions he have no contact with the victim, use no drugs or alcohol, and have no weapons.