Knock-down drag-out leads to two early Sunday arrests

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Police in St Augustine were called to a disturbance at 57 Nesmith Street off Masters Drive about 4:00 a.m., early yesterday morning. By the time the call was completed, police had taken both combatants to jail in what was described as a heated domestic brawl.

Officer Evan Martin observed 22-year-old Katelyn Rhea Kemp driving away from the home as he arrived. He followed the vehicle, stopped and contacted her at the intersection of Josiah Street and Palmer Street, while she was still on the phone with the police dispatcher.

Kemp told police at the scene that she and 25-year-old Travis Alan Stroble had been living together in an intimate-dating relationship as girlfriend and boyfriend over the past eight months. She said that earlier that morning, Stroble began punching her with a closed fist for no reason. She offered no idea as to why Stroble became angry and physical with her. Kemp admitted that she “pushed and slapped” Stroble in an attempt to defend herself.

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Officer Martin observed several scrapes and abrasions to Kemp’s face, right shoulder blade, right biceps, left knee, and a pattern abrasion consistent with a medical cast on the right side of her forehead at the hair line. Officers observed dried blood on Kemp’s lips and the left side of her forehead.

Officers Brittney Garmon and Dee Brown went directly to the residence and contacted Stroble who stated that “he never touched” Kemp and that she had attacked him. The officers observed and documented scratches to both his right and left biceps, scratches between his eyes, and just below the outside of his left eye. There was apparent swelling below his left eye. Stroble had scratches on the knuckles of his left hand including a bloody left index finger.

Officers observed the front door of the residence had been left open and the contents unsecured. Kemp and Stroble were secured while officers inspected the home. According to the report, officers observed signs of a physical altercation or struggle inside. There were plants knocked over and a broken guitar lying on the floor. Police saw a broken lamp, broken glass throughout the kitchen, and a steak knife lying on an end table, next to the couch in the living room. Inside the kitchen, an open pocket knife lay on the counter. A picture had been knocked off the hallway wall, and a hole knocked into the drywall just below the electric panel. Officers found a broken picture frame inside the bathroom as well as broken glass at the end of the hallway.

According to Officer Martin, it was not possible from the evidence collected to determine which of the two the “primary aggressor” was, so it was decided to place both Kemp and Stroble under arrest for domestic battery. They were booked into the St Johns County Detention Facility without incident. Strobel was released at 2:19 p.m. yesterday after posting a $500 bond. Kemp was released at 2:54 p.m. yesterday after posting a $500 bond.

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