Fairfield Man Charged With Strangling, Assaulting 18-Year-Old Girlfriend

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Fairfield resident 20-year-old Brian Meindl was charged with interfering with an officer, breach of peace, violation of a protective order, second degree assault, second degree strangulation and first degree unlawful restraint.
Fairfield resident 20-year-old Brian Meindl was charged with interfering with an officer, breach of peace, violation of a protective order, second degree assault, second degree strangulation and first degree unlawful restraint. Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department
Easton resident Melissa Barney, 18, was charged by Fairfield police with violation of a protective order and released to her family on a promise to appear in court on Monday Aug. 4.
Easton resident Melissa Barney, 18, was charged by Fairfield police with violation of a protective order and released to her family on a promise to appear in court on Monday Aug. 4. Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A 20-year-old Fairfield man was arrested after assaulting and strangling his 18-year-old girlfriend when nearby residents reported hearing a woman screaming and yelling in Melville Park in Fairfield, police said. 

The woman was screaming "Get away from me, you're hurting me," police said, but there were no eyewitnesses to the incident late Friday night. 

The incident began earlier that evening when Brian Meindl, 20, of Fairfield, and Melissa Barney, 18, of Easton, arranged to meet to have drinks in Easton, even though they have four protective orders against each another, police said. 

According to the police report, Meindl and Barney then went to his house in Fairfield, where an argument turned physical. 

Barney told officers that Meindl held her down to keep her from leaving the room and strangled her, police said. She had red marks on her face and neck, a bruise on her eye and nose and scratch marks, police said. 

She was able to get out of the house and the on-and-off-again couple began arguing in the park, police said. When officers arrived, Barney was not there and Meindl attempted to flee when officers asked him to get into the patrol car, police said.

Barney was found later and taken to St. Vincent's Hospital for evaluation, police said.

Meindl was taken to police headquarters and was uncooperative in the squad car, banging his head against the plexiglass divider wall in the car, police said.

Inside police headquarters, he continued to be uncooperative, banging his head on the wall and saying he wanted to kill himself, police said. 

He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for an emergency committal, police said. He was later released into police custody. 

Officers reported that both appeared to be intoxicated during the incident, police said. 

Meindl was charged with interfering with an officer, breach of peace, violation of a protective order, second-degree assault, second-degree strangulation and first-degree unlawful restraint. He was held on $50,000 bond and taken to court Monday Aug. 4. 

Barney was charged with violation of a protective order and released to her family on a promise to appear in court Monday, Aug. 4.

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