Separate bonds set in two domestic violence allegations

A Pine Bluff man arrested Tuesday after an alleged domestic violence incident will have to post two separate bonds after he was linked to a previous incident that occurred in May.

Cardin Benjamin, 25, allegedly punched and choked his estranged wife on May 24, and his former girlfriend Tuesday, Deputy Prosecutor Cymber Gieringer said during a court hearing for Benjamin on Thursday.

In the first incident, police were sent to the 600 block of West 30th Avenue on May 24. Police reported that when they arrived, they found Benjamin’s estranged wife sitting on the steps crying.

Detective Michael Roberts said in a probable-cause affidavit that the woman told police she was in the bathroom at her brother’s residence when Benjamin came in. She said the two were in the process of getting a divorce and he had contacted her several times by phone and text messages trying to get her to come back.

Gieringer said the woman told police that Benjamin came in the bathroom and struck her in the face with his closed fist and tried to strangle her before leaving with a video game system that belonged to her brother.

The next day, police received information that Benjamin had tried to sell the video game system to another person.

Roberts said in the affidavit that officers reported seeing marks and injuries to the alleged victim.

Dealing with that incident first, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney ruled that prosecutors had probable cause to charge Benjamin with residential burglary, theft of property and second offense third-degree domestic battery, a felony because Benjamin had previously been convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery on April 15 ,2011.

Gieringer said Benjamin was placed on probation on two misdemeanors and is listed as an absconder on that probation.

At her request, Kearney set a $50,000 cash-only bond for Benjamin, and also ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim.

The second incident involving Benjamin happened Tuesday when police were sent to an apartment in the 3200 block of Fir Street where Benjamin’s former girlfriend said the two had argued and he punched her in the face and tried to strangle her before running out of her apartment and into another apartment.

Gieringer said that when police arrived, they saw Benjamin trying to climb out of a window, but when he saw police, he went back inside and closed the window.

Roberts said in a second affidavit that a person inside the apartment gave police permission to search and they found Benjamin hiding in a closet.

Kearney set a $25,000 cash-only bond for Benjamin in the second incident after ruling that prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with second offense third-degree domestic battery.

As he did in the first case, Kearney ordered Benjamin to have no contact with the alleged victim until the case is settled.

Benjamin said he would hire his own attorney.