A Key Largo man was arrested Saturday and charged with punching his girlfriend, taking away her phone so she could not call for help and holding her in their apartment, not allowing her to leave.
Deputy Deanna Torres responded to 212 Atlantic Avenue in Key Largo at 11 a.m. to a report of a domestic dispute. When she and other deputies arrived, no one would answer the door. About 45 minutes later, Sheriff’s dispatchers received another call. The caller said she would meet deputies at the Speedway gas station at the 99 mm.
When she met with deputies, the 23 year old victim had blood on her face, hands and legs. She said her boyfriend, 36 year old Laurence Rafford punched her in the face. She said the dispute started when she read him a verse from Psalms in the Bible. She said he punched her because he does not believe in God.
After he punched her, she said she used her phone to call 911. She said he grabbed the phone from her and smashed it on the floor. He then told her to go into the bathroom to clean up all the blood she had on her. She said while she was in the bathroom she heard deputies knocking on the door. She said he would not let her out of the bathroom to answer the door.
She said after deputies left, she asked him to let her out of the bathroom to get a glass of water. When he let her out, she grabbed her purse and broken phone, ran out of the apartment and went to the gas station to meet with deputies.
After interviewing the victim, deputies went to the apartment. Rafford’s vehicle was outside, but no one answered the door. The victim was taken to the hospital by her mother to be treated for her injuries. After she was discharged from the hospital, she took deputies to the apartment and let them inside. Rafford was there and was taken into custody.
Rafford was charged with aggravated domestic battery, tampering with a witness, victim or informant and with false imprisonment. He was booked into jail.