The DeSoto County Sheriff's Office reported the arrest of Joshua Cortland Ritch, 30, on charges of assault and battery, misuse of the 911 system, making a false report of a crime and violation of a condition for pretrial release.
According to records from DCSO and the Clerk of Court, a woman reported to DCSO she had been having issues with her boyfriend, Ritch. As she was traveling along a local road, she said he started driving toward her, causing her to go off the roadway. He blocked her in and began shouting at her, then slashed all her tires. Only when a nearby resident called law enforcement did Ritch leave.
The following day, a deputy checked on the victim and saw her at Ritch's mother's residence. She said the two had argued and he had pushed her on the couch, choking her until she could not breathe; he then "blamed her for him having to choke her."
Several days later, DCSO had information that Ritch was at his mother's house. By then he had outstanding warrants for assault and battery. When they went to the house, they tried to reach the mother but there was no answer. They knocked several times but no one responded.
Shortly after, a 911 call came in claiming to be someone named "Jerry White" and alleging his stepfather, "Jerry Carter," was threatening someone with a knife, at an address east of Ritch's mother's house. Suspecting Ritch was trying to lure deputies away from his location, some of them responded to the call while others remained.
The 911 call reportedly pinged at Ritch's mother's house. A relative eventually persuaded Ritch to come out, when he was arrested. Several deputies listened to the 911 call and confirmed it was Ritch's voice placing the call.
Ritch was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, felony domestic battery by strangulation, criminal mischief with property damage between $200 and $1,000, misuse of the 911 system and making a false report of a crime. A no-contact order was issued prohibiting him from contacting the victim. Ritch bonded out of jail the next day.
A few days later, the victim reported Ritch called and texted her repeatedly. He allegedly professed his love for her and begged her to drop the charges against him. She eventually agreed to meet with Ritch, and as he drove to her residence, he was arrested. He claimed he was not going to stop but only slowed down as he drove past.
Ritch was additionally charged with violation of a pretrial release no-contact order. His earlier bond was revoked and he is being held in jail without bond. He is scheduled for a court appearance on July 1.