A Prescott man has been arrested after his girlfriend reported that he beat their 4-year-old son and then turned his anger on to her when she tried to stop the abuse.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) received this information from the woman on Thursday, Feb. 1. She told deputies that she, her two young children, and her boyfriend, Michael Ortez, were at their home in the Diamond Valley sub-division of Prescott on Sunday, Jan. 28, when Ortez began punishing their 4-year-son for answering the door earlier without permission. The punishment consisted of multiple hand strikes to the child’s lower back and butt, according to a YCSO news release.
As the strikes became harder, the mother attempted to intervene. She told deputies Ortez then began hitting her head, causing her to fall to the couch. While on the couch, Ortez choked her until she almost lost consciousness, at which time he would briefly release his grip around her neck before choking her again, according to her statement. He also kicked her several times and put his hand over her mouth to prevent screams for help. When the assault concluded, he told her to shower because she was bleeding from her mouth and refused to let her leave.
Based on the severity of the allegations and visible injuries to both victims, the detectives from YCSO’s Criminal Investigations Unit were assigned and immediately conducted forensic interviews of the mother and her two children, the 4-year-old who had been assaulted, and his 7-year-old sister, the news release states. Additional information revealed that during the assault of the victim, Ortez ordered the 7-year-old to get some tape so he could ‘tie mommy up.’ He did not follow through with this threat, the release states. Prior domestic violence assaults involving Ortez were also documented.
On Feb. 1, Ortez was located driving in the Diamond Valley area and arrested. He was booked at the Yavapai County jail on charges including two counts of felony aggravated assault, child abuse and kidnapping. His bond on the case is set at $50,000. Ortez is also on active probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. As such, a probation revocation hearing has been initiated. Ortez remains in-custody.
Resources regarding domestic violence issues can be found at DomesticViolence.AZ.Gov.
“We know it takes courage to report domestic violence incidents and YCSO wants victims to know these cases will be investigated thoroughly with those responsible arrested and prosecuted,” said Dwight D’Evelyn, spokesperson for YCSO. “An extensive support system for victims and their families will also be made available. Remember, ‘Stop it, while you have a voice.’”