Editor’s Note: This story contains details of domestic abuse. If you or someone you know has experienced domestic or sexual abuse, contact The Advocacy Center here.
Editor’s Note at 3:50 p.m. Aug. 11: This story has been updated since having been originally published to better reflect what occurred.
GROTON, N.Y. — A Groton man is facing charges after police say he assaulted a woman and resisted arrest, prompting officers at the scene to tase him.
According to supporting deposition made by the woman in the case, Jordan Goodwin, 25, was at the Dryden Hotel the first week of August when he became upset because somebody he didn’t like was there.
He and the woman left the hotel and began arguing during the drive home to the village of Groton. She decided to leave the home and got in her vehicle, but Goodwin jumped in after her and took the keys out of her vehicle after she drove about five-feet.
She followed him back into the house to take her keys away from.
“I told him that I wanted to leave and things escalated from there,” she told police.
She said she tried to leave from the front and back doors before Goodwin grabbed her and pinned her to the ground, holding his hand over her mouth and threatening to kill her.
Eventually, the woman saw police lights through the window and Goodwin ran upstairs. The woman said police entered the home and went upstairs to take Goodwin into custody.
“After several minutes, they found Jordan and brought him back downstairs. Jordan was trying to get away from him (the officer) as they were coming down the stairs and when they got downstairs that’s when they tased him,” she stated in the deposition.
He was also found with her phone in his pocket, which fell out of her pocket during the assault
She said she was later told by first responders that she likely passed out during the encounter due to physical evidence at the scene.
Goodwin, who is the step-son of Lt. Dan Donahue at the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, was initially charged with felonies for first-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree strangulation. He was also charged with misdemeanors for second-degree obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree assault, second-degree harassment and petit larceny.
“I don’t want him arrested and I want him to get help for the alcohol and anger issues,” the woman said.
The felony charges have since been reduced to misdemeanors for criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree imprisonment. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia is handling the case.
District Attorney Matt Van Houten said in an email Friday, “The charges were reduced to misdemeanors based upon our review of the evidence and the unavailability of the victim to testify at a felony preliminary hearing. This is the kind of reduction that takes place often, and is solely based upon the evidence available to the prosecution.”
He said the office was not aware that Goodwin was Donahue’s step-son and was not contacted by the sheriff’s office about the case.
No press release was issued about the incident and Van Houten said the District Attorney’s Office does not issue press releases about people being initially charged with crimes, a task left to individual police departments.
The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department frequently puts out press releases for minor crimes, such as a recent release about a person who stole cans of Red Bull and Soup from Target. However, a release was not issued for Goodwin’s arrest.
Sheriff Kenneth Lansing said the department does not issue press releases for domestic violence offenses in an effort to keep the complainants safe and anonymous.
“We have nothing to hide here…nothing at all,” he said.
However, a search of online press releases reveals two press releases regarding domestic violence that were issued at the end of April.
Multiple Ithaca Voice reporters also do not recall seeing Goodwin listed on the online app Mobile Patrol, which provides updates of people in custody, along with a mugshot and list of charges.
Lansing said, “I don’t know why you didn’t see it. It was there.”
Van Houten pointed out that Goodwin’s arrest information does appear on an affiliated website called Vinelink, however.
“The fact that felony charges were filed doesn’t seem to support the theory that this was swept under the rug by law enforcement,” Van Houten said.