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Man arrested on charge of assaulting his ex-girlfriend over vodka and cigarettes



A woman told police she was assaulted and robbed Sunday behind the Bloomington Internal Revenue Service after arguing with her ex-boyfriend over vodka and cigarettes. 

David Andreola-Welch, 37, is facing charges of domestic battery, strangulation, robbery and leaving the scene of an accident after allegedly committing a string of crimes along South Liberty Drive, police said. 

Bloomington Police Department officers first encountered Welch earlier in the day when his silver Dodge Caravan was involved in a hit and run at South Liberty Drive and West Third Street. The woman was turning left when the driver’s side of his 2011 Ford F150 truck was hit by Welch’s van, Sgt. Dana Cole said.

The woman followed Welch, who travelled south on South Liberty Drive. He saw that there was a woman in the car with Welch, then pulled into a nearby parking lot to wait for police. Around the same time, police said they received a call of suspicious activity in the Walmart parking lot.

Officers responded, finding a woman drinking alcohol in the parking lot. However, the car she was in was Welch’s van. Police went into Walmart to find Welch, who said he was driving during the accident and fled because his license was suspended.

Welch was issued a citation for leaving the scene of an accident. He and his ex-girlfriend, the woman in the car, were ordered to leave Walmart because they were intoxicated and trespassing, Cole said. 

The two, whom police said had previously dated for 10 years, then started walking down South Liberty Drive. An argument started over a bottle of vodka and a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes the woman bought at Walmart.

The woman, 33, told officers she planned to give Welch a few cigarettes, but he wanted half and became angry when she said no. He also kept asking for the vodka.

Welch then pushed the woman behind a Steak ‘n Shake and punched her in the head, police said. Officers said she refused to give Welch vodka or cigarettes and ran to hide near a dumpster behind Aldi.

When Welch found her, she ran behind the Internal Revenue Service down the street. Welch cornered her behind the building. Before he arrived, the woman was able to pour out the bottle of vodka and hide it.

“I want the booze,” Welch said.

He continued punching her in the face, later putting his knees into her chest and got her in a chokehold, slamming her head into the ground, police said. The woman told officers she eventually lost consciousness. 

The woman woke up around midnight and Welch was gone, along with her handbag, purse, backpack, ID and cigarettes. She found her backpack in a nearby dumpster. She told police she called her mother, who picked her up and took her home to Ellettsville, Indiana. 

MondayThe woman went to the police station Monday morning to report the assault, saying it had occurred around 11 p.m. and providing Welch’s name. Officers went to find Welch, but he had already been arrested for trespassing at Walmart after the assault, police said. 

Officers went to interview Welch in jail, and saw that he had injuries on his lip and left hand. He told police that the previous night he had been more drunk than normal and blacked out for a large portion of the night. He said he remembers talking to officers at Walmart, but not any fight between him and his ex-girlfriend. 

Welch also said he remembered going back to Walmart, where he said he was assaulted by unknown men while leaving the store, which is how he got his injuries. He also said the men took his wallet and keys, so he decided to spend the night in his van, which was parked at Walmart. 

Around 8 a.m. Monday, officers found Welch passed out with the woman's cigarettes in his car. Her ID and white handbag were not found. When she reported the assault, Cole said the woman had visible injuries. However, the woman said she had cleaned them but didn't want further medical attention.

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