Man Charged for Choking Girlfriend With His Dreadlocks

An Oregon man was arrested for domestic assault earlier this week after police said he choked his girlfriend with his dreadlocked hair. Caleb Grotberg, 32, also faces charges including assault, menacing, kidnapping, and strangulation.

The woman was able to give officers a description of the suspect, who had apparently fled the scene by the time they arrived at 2:30 a.m. on Monday, and after canvassing the Portland neighborhood, they found him. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for multiple injuries, none of which are considered life threatening.


Now dreadlock-control advocacy groups are clamoring for a federal ban on smelly, mangy hair, because it’s clearly a dangerous weapon. Just kidding. Actually, the idea of outlawing dreads is slightly appealing, but only because they’re gross, not because they’re dangerous.

Here’s the thing: Some people have an evil streak, and they will do harm to others no matter what weapons they get their hands on. This guy allegedly tried to strangle his girlfriend with his own hair. That’s a kind of crazy that you can’t legislate.

Sergeant Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau said that he’d never heard of anyone using dreadlocks as a weapon, and while domestic violence is nothing to make light of, he did say, “This is a very Portland-centric type of situation.”

Neighbors also reacted to the allegations. Ric Leonetti said, “It’s sickening that someone could have such anger in them, strangling with their own hair? I mean strangulation period, you have a lot of anger, but it’s shocking that someone like that would be on our street.”

Another neighbor, Molly Dickinson, said, “The scariest part of it is that she was probably screaming and trying to get help, but no one else was around to help. It’s unnerving being a woman, and knowing that could happen across the street and no one can notice.”

It is scary to think about being violently overpowered by a man, especially by one that you’re in an intimate relationship with. The problem in domestic violence isn’t the weapons that are employed, whether they’re guns or knives or hair -- the problem is the people that commit the crimes. Some people just suck, and the best thing we can do as a society is try to protect innocent people from becoming the victims of their violence.

What’s the most unlikely weapon you’ve heard of being involved in a crime?

Image via KSDigital/Flickr

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