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National Guard sergeant tried to strangle girlfriend, police say

A sergeant with the Nevada Army National Guard in Henderson has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and domestic battery by strangulation of his live-in girlfriend at their Las Vegas apartment.

Sgt. Anthony Bernard Thomas, 38, of the military police, surrendered Friday with the assistance of supervising military officers as he reported for drill formation at the Henderson Armory at 151 E. Horizon Ridge Parkway, the Metropolitan Police Department reported.

Thomas, whom police said was also a security guard at Caesars Palace, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and subsequently bailed out of custody, according to jail records.

Las Vegas officers made the arrest following an investigation into alleged domestic violence incidents reported by Thomas’ girlfriend on Oct. 22 and Nov. 4, in which the suspect allegedly held his hands on her neck to the point she could not breathe, police said in an arrest report.

In the report, police claimed that, based on the victim’s statement, Thomas tried “to kill another person” in the two incidents.

The victim first called police at 2:15 a.m. Oct. 22 to the unit she shared with Thomas at the Emerald Suites extended stay hotel, 9145 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

Thomas, she reported, came home “intoxicated” between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. and began to argue with her, pushed her into the bedroom, threw her on the bed and straddled her, according the arrest report.

She attempted to leave, but the suspect “placed both hands around (her) neck and began to strangle (her) until she felt she was going to pass out,” police reported.

“I literally thought I was going to die,” she stated to officers.

She told him, “I can’t breathe” to which he allegedly responded, “You’re not going to breathe anymore,” police reported.

Her dog then jumped on top of Thomas, who loosened his grip on her, police said. When she threatened to notify police, Thomas left the apartment.

She called police, who noted bruising on her neck that resembled hand and finger imprints.

Detectives from the department’s Family Justice Center launched an investigation and phoned the victim on Nov. 4, when she told them of another, more serious attack that occurred two days before, police said.

She reported that in the afternoon of Nov. 2, Thomas was again in a state of drunkenness and that after she asked him to assist her with duties around the apartment, he became agitated, grabbed her and put her on the bed, straddled her and placed his hands on her neck until she briefly fell unconscious and woke up on the floor.

Thomas, still straddling her on the floor with his hands around her neck, said, “Die, bitch, die,” the victim told police.

The woman later said that she while she still loved Thomas, she “had reason to believe he was going to kill her” and though she had no money she had decided to leave Las Vegas, according to police.

The victim permitted patrol officers to take digital photos as evidence of marks and bruising to her neck, cuts and scratches elsewhere on her body and her black and bruised eyes, police reported.

Thomas made his initial appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on Saturday, and a judge ordered him held on $20,000 bail, which he posted, based on court and jail records.

The next hearing in Justice Court on his criminal case has been scheduled for Feb. 8.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on Twitter.

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