Man charged with holding woman against her will

Jeffory Joseph Palella, 52, Hernando, FL, was arrested by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, July 27, on numerous charges after allegedly holding a woman against her will for several hours.

The person who contacted the sheriff’s office said he was concerned, because he’d spoken with the woman at 10:00 am, while she was in Ocala with Palella, and she told him she would be home soon. He hadn’t heard from her since, and he’d been unable to get in touch with her. He said he was worried that she was being held against her will.

Palella ordered deputies off his property and went inside. The complainant, however, gave deputies permission to go inside the residence and gave them his door key. Through an open back screen door, deputies saw the woman “pacing back and forth frantically,” according to the report. When deputies entered the residence, the report stated, Palella was agitated, yelling obscenities, and blocked deputies from entering the bedroom where the victim was visably shaking. Palella instructed the victim to not speak with the deputies, then got into a physical altercation with them, pushing them away. Deputies managed to place Palella in handcuffs.

The victim, who was in tears, told deputies that she was afraid of Palella; he needed help before he hurt somebody. She said he held her against her will and forced her to go drive around with him in the van from about 10:30 am until approximately 3:30 pm. She said he drove around Citrus County, Ocala and Leesburg, and would not allow her to contact her husband or law enforcement. When the complainant called her cell phone, she said, Palella grabbed her, then took the phone away from her and tossed it out of the driver’s side window. She said, when they arrived back at the residence, he instructed her to stay in the bedroom and told her she was not allowed to leave. She said he threatened her by clinching his fist and placing it close to her face.

According to the report, Palella refused to speak with deputies until his attorney was present. He was charged with 2 counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, and 2 counts of resisting an officer with violence ($20,000 bond). He was also charged with domestic battery and false imprisonment (no bond).


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