By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – A Grapeland man is behind bars after he allegedly beat his ex-girlfriend, forcibly restrained her and attempted to shove a white sleeveless T-shirt (commonly known as a wife-beater) down her throat.
Joe Micah Cryer, a 39-year-old Grapeland resident, was taken into custody on June 2 by a deputy with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and charged with: aggravated kidnapping; assaulting a family member or member of a household by impeding their breath or circulation; and assault causing bodily injury to a family member or member of a household.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, HCSO Deputy Keith Davis was dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of Edens Street in Grapeland at approximately 10:45 on June 1. When he arrived, he met with the complainant who advised the deputy a female had “… beat on her door and reported she had been held against her will and assaulted.”
Davis spoke to the assault victim who informed him she was at her ex-boyfriend’s (Cryer’s) residence in the 400 block of Sycamore Street when he became angry and started beating her with his fists.
“Cryer got on top of (the victim) and shoved a white, sleeveless “T” type shirt into her mouth and attempted to tape it across her mouth using 2” clear, plastic shipping tape,” the affidavit reported.
The victim stated she managed to get away and ran towards a bedroom door only to find that Cryer had wedged it shut.
The affidavit indicated Cryer “… caught up to (the victim) and shoved her head into the wall and while grabbing her head, beat it against the wall several times trying to render her unconscious.”
Once again, the victim broke free and tried to reach the front door only to be knocked to the ground. While the victim was on the ground, Cryer attempted to bind her hands behind her back. He managed to bind her right wrist to her right ankle and told her- according to the affidavit – he was going to have her gang raped.
“(The victim) screamed out, but Cryer covered her mouth with his hands. While holding (the victim) down, Cryer attempted to smother her with a pillow. “(The victim) stated she could not breathe and struggled for air,” the affidavit reported.
Eventually, the victim broke free and managed to escape out the back door of Cryer’s residence. After two unsuccessful tries at neighboring residences, the victim made contact with a resident on Edens Street, who called the HCSO.
Cryer was apprehended shortly afterwards and transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on charges of aggravated kidnapping (first degree felony), assaulting a family member or member of a household by impeding their breath or circulation (second degree felony) and assault causing bodily injury to a family member or member of a household (Class A misdemeanor).
According to Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
A second degree felony carries a sentence of between two and 20 years in prison along with a fine of up to $10,000.
Cryer is being held at the Houston County Jail on a total bond of $14,731.10.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.