Florence man jailed on kidnapping and assault charges

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John Carter Collins, III

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Authorities say a petty argument over a cellphone almost cost a woman her life this week.

Inside an apartment at Courtview Towers in downtown Florence, police said the confrontation quickly escalated out of control Monday night and continued through Tuesday morning.

According to Florence police, John Carter Collins, III, is behind bars for physically assaulting his girlfriend and then holding her against her will inside his apartment.

“He thought she had taken his cell phone the night prior. He then tied her up and hit her several times in the face,” explained Sgt. Cliff Billingsley with Florence Police Department.

According to police reports, Collins continued to beat on the victim and gagged her to keep from screaming.

Before passing out from intoxication, police said Collins strangled the woman with a belt wrapped around her neck.

Detective Billingsley said the victim was able to cut herself loose from the rope she was tied up with and call police.

“We’re very thankful she was able to get herself loose and contact police,” stated Billingsley. “There is no telling what he may have done to her. She’s very lucky to be alive today.”

A horrifying scenario Billingsley said could have turned out much worse.

John Carter Collins, III, is charged with domestic violence assault-strangulation, domestic violence, domestic violence interference with an emergency call, and kidnapping.

Collins is being held at the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail totaling $61,000.

The victim in this case was transported to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital for treatment to her injuries, and has since been released.