ELKHART — An Elkhart man is waiting to receive a new trial date to face allegations that he brutally attacked a woman with a hammer and threatened to kill her.
Robert Szabo, 42, was arrested Feb. 8, 2017, and charged with criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, a Level 3 felony, battery with a deadly weapon, a Level 5 felony, and strangulation and domestic battery, Level 6 felonies. He was recently re-arrested on a warrant issued after he missed a court hearing ahead of his Jan. 30 trial.
He explained in a handwritten letter to the court that he’s serving time in St. Joseph County. He was sentenced to six years after a jury found him guilty of burglary, a Level 5 felony, in April 2017.
Szabo was transferred to the Elkhart County Correctional Facility, where he’s currently being held on $100,000 bond. He faces up to 27 years in prison if convicted of all four charges.
According to court documents:
A woman came to the Elkhart Police Department Feb. 7, 2017, at around 6:30 p.m. and said that she had gotten away from Szabo after convincing him to take her to a South Bend residence. Leaving him there to walk home to Elkhart gave her time to go to the police and make her report.
She said Szabo allegedly held her for 29 hours the day before, during which he tied her up, attacked her and refused to feed her. She told police she thought she was going to die.
The incident started around 10 a.m., when she said Szabo grabbed her by the hair and threw her against a wall. He forced her to carry her two-month-old child to the bedroom upstairs, where he hit her and choked her until she couldn’t breath.
He tied her hands behind her back and forced her to hold the baby in her lap so she couldn’t move as he continued to hit her. At other times he slammed her against the stairs and dragged her up the stairs by her hair, and tried to pop her eardrum with a baby medicine syringe.
He also continually threatened her with a hammer, saying he wanted to take her outside and beat her with it in front of the neighbors, and at one point did hit her in the knee with it. He told her if she called the police, he would kill her before they got there.
Police noted a number of injuries on the woman, including bruises on her forehead, above her eye, and on her arm, shoulder, tailbone and hip. Her wrists appeared red from being tied up and her right knee appeared red and swollen from being hit with the hammer.
She didn’t want to seek medical attention, however. The baby was not injured in the incident.
Police found Szabo at the woman’s apartment the next day and arrested him.