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Man arrested after SWAT standoff on June 1 accused of burning, choking, water-boarding girlfriend

Posted at 5:01 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 17:32:59-04

The man who was arrested in Euclid after a SWAT standoff earlier this month was accused by his girlfriend of horrific abuse, including punching her, kicking her, holding a gun to her head, choking her with a belt, burning her with a lighter and water-boarding her.

Euclid police attempted to arrest Damon Crim, 39, on the morning of Friday, June 1 on warrants for kidnapping and felonious assault for an incident that occurred earlier in the morning, according to officials with the department.

Crim, armed with a shotgun, barricaded himself in a home on East 250th Street and refused to come out of the home after several hours of negotiation, authorities said. He surrendered peacefully after SWAT deployed tear gas into the home.

A newly-released report from Euclid police detailed the appalling acts of abuse Crim’s girlfriend recounted to police that led to his eventual arrest.

The night before the standoff, police responded to an extremely upset woman at the police station lobby; the report states she was crying, shaking uncontrollably, pacing, and unable to complete a full sentence. She told police she was afraid to walk across the lobby because Crim would see her through the doors and kill her for being there.

She began to describe how Crim, her live-in boyfriend, abused her, but she began to get too upset to breathe, the report states. EMS and police then took her by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Police later met with the woman at the hospital, who had calmed down because “she was farther away from Damon and knew he could no longer get to her,” the report states. She said that for the past week, Crim had not allowed her to eat, had been hitting her, and threatening to kill her. She said the abuse escalated after he accused her of stealing $460 from him.

The victim then recounted to police the worst of the abuse. She said that when Crim got mad at her, he made her get naked and clean the house as punishment. He had a shotgun pointed at her or in his hands the entire time she was cleaning, she said. She added that Crim continuously kicked her and punched her while she cleaned and hit her with the butt of his gun.

The victim then told police that Crim put a belt around her neck and choked her until she couldn’t breathe. She said Crim urinated on her, threw knives at her, and cut her multiple times. She said he burned her multiple times on the legs with a torch lighter. She said he cut her hair, made her lay down on the floor and poured water on her face until she choked. She said Crim himself called it water-boarding.

The officer asked the victim why she didn’t call police, and she said Crim had broken her cell phone with the shotgun.

A doctor examined the woman and told police that she had multiple injuries covering her entire body, consistent with the abuse she claimed Crim committed. Police took photos of the injuries and evidence, including her cut hair, burn marks on her legs, a knife wound on her head, cuts on her chest and shoulders, bruises on her back, a swollen and possibly-broken lip, and a right hand that was possibly broken. She also had possible bite marks on her chest and possible ligature marks on her neck.

Police re-visited the hospital later after the victim tested positive for cocaine. She told police that she does not do drugs, and believed that Crim put cocaine in the water he made her drink.

Euclid police reported that Crim had also menaced a neighbor earlier that week with a shotgun during an argument over grass clippings. They said he has multiple other warrants with other agencies.

Court records indicate that since his arrest, Crim is now charged with two counts of rape, four counts of felonious assault, kidnapping, contaminating substance for human consumption or use, domestic violence, aggravated menacing, drug possession and criminal menacing.

Jail records indicate Crim is still in custody at Cuyahoga County Jail. He is being held ine lieu of a $100,000 bond and is set to appear in court next on July 10.

Court records indicate Crim pleaded guilty to assault in 2006 and attempting to carry a concealed weapon in 2000.