$5k cash bail set for man accused of choking girlfriend

LACONIA —  A local man was ordered held on $5,000 cash-only bail for allegedly choking and slapping his girlfriend during an argument Tuesday morning.

Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Nathan Scaringi, 28, of 613 Main St. Apt. 15 also took the victim's cell phone from her and put it in his pocket when she told him she was going to call the police.

Police said they responded to the apartment building at 9:43 a.m. after being called by a neighbor who reported she could hear what she said was Scaringi assaulting the victim.

When police arrived, they said the victim was on the first floor and had red marks on her face and neck.

The victim told officers that Scaringi allegedly pushed her down on the couch, got on top of her, and put his hands around her neck. She said she couldn't talk or breathe.

After he stopped choking her, she said he allegedly slapped her twice. When one of the neighbors knocked on the door, the victim said Scaringi opened the door and spoke with her. Once he shut the door,  the victim said he "threw" her on the couch a second time and strangled her again "harder."

Others in the building told police they heard the two arguing before police arrived. They said they heard loud "smack" and heard the victim yell "get your hands off me!"

In court yesterday, the city prosecutor asked for $15,000 cash bail saying Scaringi has two previous convictions for simple assault as well as three convictions for witness tampering for which he is still on probation. He said those convictions were also domestic violence related.

Scaringi's defense argued that Scaringi was "indigent" and would lose his job if he couldn't get to work. She said three of his coworkers were in court and all of them told her that he was a valued employee.

She said he could post $500 cash and that would represent his entire check, giving him a reason to not flee the jurisdiction. She also said the victim was not at Scaringi's apartment any longer and Scaringi would agree to a no-contact order.

Before setting bail at $5,000 cash only, Judge Jim Carroll said he was particularly concerned with the three convictions for witness tampering.