AVON PARK, Fla. — A Highlands County Sheriff's Office employee was arrested after being accused of biting, strangling, and hitting the mother of his child.

Deputies say Willie Lee English III, 29, punched and threatened his ex-girlfriend with a gun when she came to his home to talk about their child late Monday evening.

English, who works as a civilian support officer at the sheriff's office has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. 

The ex-girlfriend told deputies she went back to English's house to drop off the child Tuesday morning. He dragged her into his home and hit her multiple times, throwing her to the ground, biting her, and 'placing his hands around her throat,' according to deputies.

English would not allow her to leave after an attack that lasted for more than 10 minutes, deputies say. 

Deputies arrested English following an investigation that stemmed from the ex-girlfriend coming forward. Deputies say she had visible injuries when they spoke to her.

“We take any allegations of domestic violence, no matter who is involved, very seriously,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “Mr. English has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.”

He was arrested around 4:18 p.m. Tuesday and faces charges for battery, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault. He has a bond set at $35,000 and is set to have his first court appearance on Feb. 20. 

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