9-1-1 Hang up Leads Deputies to Man Choking Girlfriend, Says HCSO

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and the individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Derek Lee Dexter

Derek Lee Dexter

On 07-19-2015 at 3:08 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a   9-1-1 hang up telephone call from a residence located in the 2500 block of Hall Avenue, Eureka. Two deputies were then dispatched to the residence on Hall Avenue.

When the deputies arrived on scene they knocked on the front door to the residence and announced themselves as deputies. The deputies received no response from inside of the residence. The front door was locked. The deputies could hear an unknown type commotion coming from the rear of the residence. The deputies then went to the rear of the residence and found an open back door.

The deputies then announced themselves again and entered the residence. As they entered the residence they could hear what sounded like crying and a muffled sounding “help” coming from inside of the residence. The deputies then began checking inside of the residence. The deputies located a locked bedroom door and they then knocked loudly on the door. The deputies heard a female’s voice, screaming for help and yelling to break the door open.

The deputies then forced entry through the locked bedroom door. When the deputies entered the bedroom they encountered 31 years old, Derek Lee Dexter holding his 30 year old girlfriend by the neck in a choke hold. Dexter shouted at the deputies, don’t take another step, I can snap her neck in a second. Dexter then tensed up his arm around the victim’s neck.

One deputy removed and pointed his Taser at Dexter with the laser light on Dexter’s body. The other deputy drew his firearm. Dexter then yelled to the deputies, remove the laser light or he would snap his girlfriend’s neck. Derek then yelled out, I’m doing it. Derek began pulling at his girlfriend’s neck and appeared to tense up his arm. It appeared to the deputies that the victim was unable to breathe or scream.

The deputies then pointed their Taser and firearm towards the ground and away from Dexter. Dexter then released the tension around the victim’s neck so she could breathe. Derek then demanded that the deputies leave. The deputies tried explaining to Dexter numerous times to please release his girlfriend, but he refused. The deputies then contacted dispatch for additional officers to respond to the scene.

Deputies continued to negotiate with Dexter to release his girlfriend. Dexter said after he smoked a cigarette he would release the victim. Dexter then reached over with one hand a grabbed a cigarette off a table and smoked it. After several minutes of talking to Dexter he agreed to release her if they did not taze him. The deputies assured Dexter he would not be tazed. Dexter then released his grip around the victim’s neck and Dexter was taken into custody.

The victim received a small cut on her chin and the top of her lip. The victim had slight bruising around the left side of her mouth and slight marks on her neck. The victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance for treatment for her injuries.

Dexter was placed under arrest and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Dexter was booked for the following charges: Domestic violence, threats to commit a crime, battery with serious injury, false imprisonment, resisting arrest, violation of probation, violation of a court order. Dexter’s bail was set at $ 50,000 dollars.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.



  • Good to see EPD use restaint. Nice work,

  • I like that the cops were both assertive, and restrained. And by striking that balance they obtained about the best outcome one could ask for from such a lousy situation — the victim is alive, the perpetrator (yeah, I know, alleged perp) is in custody. Other than that, I will just say I hope this guy gets the sentence he deserves.

  • excellent work hcso, much appreciated


    He not only reminds me of Darth Vader in Star Wars, without the mask- but he even told them these weren’t the droids they were looking for!

    Tame The ‘tuane or something…

    Hope the lady learn not to date weirdos and stuff like that!

  • He really looks like his eyes are about to start glowing red and he is going to start muttering in tongues.

  • This guy who threatens to snap a women’s neck in front of two cops only has a $50,000 bail and two known theives have a bail set at $250,000. I’m not saying theives should be taken lightly but come on. 50k for threatening a life compared to 250k for stealing. Seems kinda like it should be the opposite…..

    • For the most part, bail amounts make no sense. Being observed by LEO with your arm around a womans neck, threatening to “snap” it, actually tightening grip to do so and that only gets $50k bail????? At a loss of words now. It’s safe to say, I would have made a really bad LEO. I can assure you, he would have required medical assistance for “resisting arrest”.

  • So 5 thousand dollars with a bondsman and he is back on the streets .

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