AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police have arrested a man accused of physically assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and causing the death of their unborn child.
According to the arrest warrant, Johnny Charles Ebbs V, 24, assaulted his pregnant girlfriend during a verbal fight. Ebbs allegedly accused the woman of cheating on him and became enraged. When the woman tried to leave the house, Ebbs stopped her, then snatched her phone from her hands.
He then grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, the warrant said. When the woman stood up in pain, Ebbs reportedly punched her in the stomach. The man reportedly screamed “F— you and this baby! You aren’t going anywhere!“
Because Ebbs was blocking the door to prevent her from leaving, she moved to the second story of the home and opened a window, where she is said to have been prepared to jump. According to the affidavit Ebbs then told her:
“If you put one leg out of that window, I’ll PUSH you out!“
He slammed the window shut and the woman ran out of the room, but Ebbs caught up with her immediately and pushed her to the ground again and punched her several more times in the stomach, according to the affidavit.
The woman did not call the police but over the next few days, she told police she became concerned after not feeling the baby move. She went to the hospital three days later and was told the baby died. A doctor indicated that “placenta abruption“ was present, which means that placenta was detached from the womb, according to the affidavit. This can be caused by blunt force trauma.
Prior to the incident, the woman had kept up with the baby’s progress and she told police it is said to have been in good health.
Ebbs was arrested Friday, March 29, and charged with a second degree felony aggravated assault. His bond is set at $75,000.
Pregnant women face a higher risk of domestic abuse. The National Institutes of Health found domestic violence is the second-leading cause of injury-related death for pregnant women.
Younger women are at the highest risk. More than a quarter of pregnant teen girls report abuse by their boyfriends, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Austin’s SAFE Alliance, a non-profit that works to support domestic abuse survivors and to prevent domestic violence, is working to change those statistics.
“Domestic violence is all about power and control — financial, physical, psychological — so during a pregnancy, power dynamics can really shift, and that can cause problems.“
SAFE Alliance has a 24/7 free and confidential helpline: 512-267-SAFE (7233). You can also text 737-888-7233.