Police arrest man for throwing girlfriend overboard

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JULY 30 — It took a SWAT team on the Indian River in Brevard County, Fla., four hours Thursday night to apprehend a man on a sailboat who allegedly had thrown a woman overboard.

Donald Becker, who is 50, is accused of throwing his girlfriend, 39-year-old Pamela Grassey, into the river at about 9 p.m., after an apparent argument, according to police. Witnesses on shore heard Grassey screaming as she was dragged behind the boat, clinging to its dinghy, a news report says. Grassey was able to swim to shore where she called authorities.

Becker refused to surrender when officers arrived, according to the report, so a SWAT team was called in. Becker was captured hours later, after being shot with a Taser. The device temporarily paralyzes a person by firing high-voltage, low-amperage-charged probes.

Becker is not the registered owner of the boat, says Jennifer Estrada with the Cocoa Beach Police Department. Details about the sailboat, such as make and length, weren’t immediately available. No injuries were reported in connection with the incident, Estrada says.

Jason Fell