An ex-con with a long, violent criminal history has been arrested, this time accused of having subjected his girlfriend to a brutal, night-long ordeal of beatings and strangulation.
Antonio Rafael Shropshire, 32, was located and taken into custody Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City by the Metro Gang Unit, Unified Police Sgt. Lex Bell said.
Detectives had developed tips from "confidential informants and concerned citizens" about Shropshire’s whereabouts, learning that he was seeing a woman in west Salt Lake City — and that he was armed.
While checking the neighborhood of the 18-year-old girlfriend’s home, Shropshire was spotted pulling into a driveway. He then drove away, followed at a distance by an unmarked police car until he returned to the area of the girlfriend’s residence, in the 300 South block of Post Road (950 West), and parked at the curb about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"We had already positively identified him so we boxed his vehicle in and made the arrest at gunpoint . . . since in the last couple days we had been told he had a gun, and because of his [violent] background," Bell said.
Shropshire surrendered without putting up a fight, however.
He was turned over to federal custody and later booked into Davis County Jail without bail on suspicion of aggravated assault and under a hold order from the U.S. Marshals Office.
Police also arrested the girlfriend, who had an active felony drug-related arrest warrant. She was booked into Salt Lake County Jail.
On May 8, Shropshire allegedly drove the victim — the mother of his child — to a parking lot and punched her repeatedly in the face, slammed her head into and broke the windshield, cut off her hair with scissors and then strangled her unconscious with a cellphone charging cord.
According to 3rd District Court documents supporting a second-degree felony aggravated assault charge, Shropshire also repeatedly threatened the victim, at one point saying, "I’m gonna put your body in a Dumpster."
The cord eventually broke, but the attacks and threats allegedly continued for hours at different locations, with the victim in and out of consciousness, prosecutors claim.
Finally, Shropshire drove to a residential area and ordered the woman out as he drove away. She was able to get help at one of the homes, police and paramedics responded and she was rushed to a hospital emergency room for treatment, court documents contend.
Police say the stolen car Shropshire allegedly was driving was later recovered, but he remained at large until Wednesday.
Third District Court records show the suspect’s history with law enforcement stretches back to 2001. It includes numerous assaults, burglary and firearms-related charges, as well of a continuing pattern of alleged domestic violence and child-support related violations.
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