A Muskegon teen, accused of luring a woman into a home where he beat and tried to choke her, was arraigned in court Friday afternoon.
Douglas Fitzgibbon, 19, is facing two felony charges: assault with intent to murder, punishable by up to life in prison; and unlawful imprisonment, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
“These are very dangerous offenses,” Judge Ladas Hoopes told the teen, who stood in front of her in chains and handcuffs.
The alleged assault happened on Wednesday, just before 7:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Bourdon, in Muskegon. Police say a 26-year-old woman was approached by Fitzgibbon outside Ghezzi’s Market on Lakeshore Drive. He said his grandmother had fallen in the house and he needed help.
“This woman decided to be a good Samaritan and help him.” Chief Jeff Lewis says she drove Fitzgibbon to the house and followed him into the basement. Then, the story changed.
“(Fitzgibbon) physically punched her, and he also put a cord around her neck, and tried to strangle her.” Chief Lewis says the woman was able to talk to her attacker, nuture him, and when he left the basement for a short time, she made a run for it.
“She was crying and distraught,” remembers Jason Whelpley, who lives across the street. He says it’s not uncommon for Fitzgibbon to get into yelling matches with his mom, but Whelpley thought it was just normal teen angst.
“(Fitzgibbon) seemed quiet, withdrawn, (he) played basketball on the corner, he wouldn’t really say much to nobody,” Whelpley says. “When I seen guns drawn and police out here, I thought ‘man he did something bad this time’.”
Police say this isn’t the teen’s first run in with the law.
“He’s assaultive, he is targeting woman and … this incident mirrors contacts we’ve had in the past with him.”
During the arraignment, Prosecutor Joe Bader called Fitzgibbon “a clear and present danger,” saying the teen was already out on bond for a misdemeanor charge.
The judge granted the prosecution's request for a $1 million bond. Fitzgibbon is expected back in court on August 9.