Former Del. Lawmaker Arrested for Third Time in Less Than a Mont - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Former Del. Lawmaker Arrested for Third Time in Less Than a Month

Posted: Jul 27, 2018 12:09 PM Updated:
John C. Atkins John C. Atkins

DOVER, Del. (WBOC/AP)- A former Delaware lawmaker charged with assaulting and strangling his girlfriend in an argument has been arrested for the third time in two weeks after allegedly violating a no-contact order again. 

Delaware State Police took Atkins into custody just before 9 p.m. Thursday night in Long Neck. He is facing three felony counts of noncompliance with conditions of recognizance bond. He was ordered held in the Sussex Correctional Institution on $18,000 cash-only bond. 

According to police, Atkins' arrest on Thursday night stemmed from his calling the victim twice on July 24. Court documents state that in the first call, Atkins pleaded with the victim to take him back. Court documents state the victim asked Atkins to stop contacting her, because she did not want to see him be arrested. According to a sworn statement from Delaware State Police troopers, the victim provided her call log which indicated that phone call was nine minutes long.

According to the same document, less than two hours later, the victim received a voicemail, where the caller was laughing, said he was stuck on a deck and would appreciate the victim's help. The victim identified the caller's voice as Atkins'.

Police said that later that day Atkins got within 100 yards of the victim's home. Court documents state that the victim learned from a neighbor that Atkins was looking to rent an apartment across the street from her. According to the documents, the neighbor alleged that Atkins had entered the her apartment while she was away. This was the same victim who Atkins got arrested for harassing at her workplace in Lewes on July 20, according to investigators. 

On Thursday, according court documents, the victim told Delaware State Police troopers that since July 20, she has received 12 phone calls from the unknown caller, including the two she reported to police on the 26th. The victim said the other ten calls were hangups or missed calls with no messages left. When police asked the victim why she did not report the two new calls, the victim allegedly said she did not know how to report them as they were from an unknown number. 

According to court documents, after speaking with the victim, police made contact with Atkins in Long Neck. Court documents state Atkins admitted leaving a message while being stuck on a deck, but did not recall the nine minute conversation. The documents state Atkins admitted to looking for an apartment across the street from the victim. What's more, documents state Atkins told police he purchased a prepaid flip phone in Florida which was meant solely to contact the victim. Atkins told police it was the victim's idea. Court documents list Atkins' new charges being filed on July 27. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 2nd at 8:30 a.m. 

The July 20 incident was in violation of Atkins' conditions of release from the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas stemming from his July 12 arrest by Delaware State Police on domestic violence charges following accusations that he assaulted and strangled his girlfriend during an argument over a text message. 

Atkins, a past representative in the Delaware State House, has been repeatedly accused of violence against women. 

In 2016, he was charged with offensive touching and criminal mischief after a domestic dispute . Those charges were dropped for insufficient evidence. The woman told Delaware State Police she had given Atkins permission to remove certain property from her Lewes home, but then discovered other items had been taken. Investigators said she jumped into Atkins' truck and began trying to damage property in it. Atkins allegedly pushed the woman and kicked her car before leaving.           

In 2014, Atkins was ordered to stay away from his estranged wife and their children after she complained of erratic and abusive behavior.           

Two years earlier, Atkins resigned from the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee amid scrutiny of an angry email he sent to state police after being pulled over by a trooper for speeding. In the email, Atkins described the officer in derogatory terms, including "smart ass," and implied that he would use his position as a lawmaker to harbor a grudge.           

In 2007, Atkins, then a Republican, resigned from the House after using his legislative position to avoid a drunken driving arrest and being charged in a domestic dispute with his wife that same night.           

The House Ethics Committee had moved to censure Atkins after he was stopped by police in Ocean City, Maryland in October 2006. Despite a preliminary breath test indicating a blood-alcohol content of 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit, Atkins - who was driving a truck with legislative license tag and offered the officers his legislative ID card along with his driver's license - was neither cited nor arrested.           

Less than two hours later, Millsboro police went to Atkins' home after a 911 hang-up call. Atkins later pleaded guilty to offensive touching for allegedly grabbing his wife's arm during an argument. He was sentenced to probation.           

Atkins later switched his party affiliation to Democrat and in 2008 won back his seat. He lost a re-election bid in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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