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Man accused of trying to strangle 8-year-old boy with screwdriver in supermarket

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ANDERSON, Ind. (December 13, 2015) — An Anderson man his behind bars after allegedly holding an 8-year-old boy in a chokehold with a screwdriver to the boy’s neck.

According to Sgt. Freddie Tevis with the Anderson Police Department, William R. Rothel, 29, was at the Payless Super Market on Meridian Street around 1 p.m. Saturday. Rothel randomly grabbed the young boy and put him in a chokehold. Police do not believe Rothel knew the boy. Officers think this was a random act of violence.

Sgt. Tevis said the boy’s mother saw Rothel grab her son. She started screaming, which got the attention of other shoppers in the store. The shoppers sprung into action. By the time police arrived, the boy was free, and people had “corralled” Rothel while they waited on police to get to the scene.

The boy escaped unharmed. Sgt. Tevis reported the 8-year-old did have an indention on his neck and some redness where the screwdriver was held.

Rothel was charged with a Level 3 felony for kidnapping, a Level 3 felony for criminal confinement, a Level 6 felony for battery, a Level 6 felony for strangulation, and a Level 6 felony for criminal recklessness.

This was not Rothel’s first run-in with the law, he’s been charged with other felonies in the past.

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