The gender of a cab driver sparked a violent domestic dispute last month, according to court testimony Thursday.
Robert Morse, 19, faces one count of aggravated assault (family violence) and one count of cruelty to children in the third degree after allegedly attacking the mother of his 2-year-old son on Dec. 12.
Morse pled not guilty to both charges in Columbus Recorder's Court.
The incident began with Morse's victim, his former girlfriend, deciding to retrieve her son from his home after becoming uncomfortable with Morse's choice in women, according to police testimony.
Officer Crystal Brassard said that the victim was driven to his home on Wellborn Drive in a taxi. But when she tried to take her son from the home, Morse became upset.
Morse allegedly said that he didn't want his son riding with a man he didn't know. Their argument escalated.
Morse then grabbed the woman by the throat; she "kicked and punched" her way free, Brassard testified.
The woman said she almost lost consciousness during the assault, Brassard testified.
The woman retreated to a bedroom in the home with their son, but Morse soon followed her, still angry, and again grabbed her by the throat.
His cursing woke their son, who began to cry.
Brassard said Morse left a four-inch scratch on his victim's throat, as well as welts.
Morse's cousin, who lives next door, later told police that she could hear crying and screaming from the home, though she didn't witness their fight.
Morse was no longer at the home when officers responded, at about 12:30 a.m. He was arrested several weeks later.
Judge Michael Joyner set a $2,500 bond for the cruelty charge and $10,000 bond for the aggravated assault.