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Archive for Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Assault charge filed in swallowed cell-phone case

December 28, 2005

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— Prosecutors have charged a Kansas City man with forcing a cell phone down his ex-girlfriend's throat last week, requiring emergency surgery to remove it.

Marlon Brando Gill, 23, was charged Tuesday with first-degree assault, a felony, in the case that initially was considered a water-cooler joke when it was reported that the woman, Melinda Abell, had swallowed the cell phone herself during an argument with her boyfriend.

Jackson County Prosecutor Michael Sanders said in a news release that he was seeking a $100,000 bond and that the Blue Springs police were looking for Gill on Tuesday.

Court documents say Abell told detectives that Gill, her ex-boyfriend, forced her from her house in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs early Friday morning and made her go with him in his vehicle. While traveling on U.S. Highway 40, Gill began screaming at her and demanded her cell phone, she told police.

Gill then grabbed her by the mouth and shoved the cell phone into her mouth until it became lodged in her throat, she told detectives.

Blue Springs police were called to the scene and an ambulance took Abell to a Kansas City hospital, where she had surgery to remove the phone.

Police Sgt. Allen Kintz said investigators weren't able to talk to Abell until that evening because of the surgery, but didn't set out to trivialize what happened to her.

"Our initial press release was that she had swallowed a cell phone," Kintz said in an interview Tuesday.

"Subsequent investigation found that she didn't swallow the cell phone voluntarily. That was what we were told initially."

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