Police search for man accused of beating, choking ex-girlfriend

US marshals helping Jacksonville police in hunt for man who 'could be anywhere'

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville police are searching for a 31-year-old man accused of beating and choking a woman then putting her in a dog cage. 

Colten Michael Asher is wanted on charges of felony battery and strangulation, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

Police said Asher is known to be in the Arlington area of Jacksonville and also in Putnam County. They said Asher could be anywhere and the U.S. Marshals Service is helping them track him down.

Police did not indicate who Asher is accused of attacking. But News4Jax did some digging and found that Asher's ex-girlfriend filed a domestic violence injunction against him on Sept. 18, the day after he is accused of attacking her. 

Max Bass, the victim's father, told News4Jax it was a phone call he will never forget. 

"It was probably the worst drive I've ever made in my life -- wanting to know how bad was your daughter injured, was the person still there, was it ongoing," Bass said. "It was pretty tough."

According to the domestic violence injunction, Asher had been living with his ex-girlfriend for three months.

On Sept. 17, court records show, Asher was intoxicated while at her apartment. They got into an argument and Asher began punching his ex-girlfriend in the face, according to the injunction. 

Once she fell to the ground, according to the injunction, she told police Asher pinned her down and tried to strangle her until she almost blacked out. 

Court documents show he then stood up and kicked the woman in the head multiple times then grabbed her and threw her into a metal dog cage. 

Bass said the woman's sister called her during the attack and when she answered the phone, her sister could hear her scream and immediately ran over to the apartment.

"My understanding is that she saw Mr. Asher over my daughter, choking her, through the window," Bass said.

According to Bass, Asher ran from the apartment before officers arrived. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she was treated for several lacerations on her body. 

Bass said his daughter is now in fear for her life and will have a long road to recovery.

"She struggles every day. She is in fear every day. I don't what the timeframe is if it'll be ever, but, hopefully, she overcomes this," Bass said. "As any parent, we want justice. I'm devastated. You do everything to raise your children and protect them and then someone comes along and in a moment tries to take them away from you."

He said their family is doing everything they can to make sure Asher is caught.

"It's just a terrible feeling that this has happened to your daughter and that person has not been brought to justice yet," Bass said.

According to Duval County court records, a different woman filed a domestic injunction against Asher in 2012. That injunction says Asher hit and kicked her, and told her she was dead. He also threatened to harm her dogs with a butter knife, according to the document. 

WATCH: Records show history of domestic violence

Court records also show Asher was accused of killing a girlfriend's dog in 2011. He was arrested on a charge of cruelty to animals, but the charge was later dropped. 

Anyone who sees Asher or who has information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

The victim's father said their family will be matching the Crime Stoppers' reward for the person who gives a direct tip that leads to Asher's arrest. 

"We’re asking the public to please help us. Let's find this person," he said. "If it can happen to my daughter, then it can happen to anybody and we want this person off the street."

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