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Gainesville man flees following domestic battery charges

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A recent photo of William Matthew Ford Jr., courtesy of GPD. Ford last said he was fleeing to Orlando, and still has not been located.
A recent photo of William Matthew Ford Jr., courtesy of GPD. Ford last said he was fleeing to Orlando and still has not been located.

A Gainesville man fled to Orlando after allegedly beating his live-in girlfriend of two months and her disabled friend, according to a Gainesville Police Department release.

William Matthew Ford Jr., 43, his girlfriend and her friend went to Fletcher’s Cocktail Lounge, located at 619 NW 5th Ave, on Sunday night.

At about 1 a.m., after leaving the lounge, the victim said she and her boyfriend began arguing in the car.

The victim said Ford then began to beat her. When her disabled friend intervened, the victim said Ford began to beat her friend as well.

According to the release, both victims were visibly injured.

When his girlfriend tried to call the police, she said Ford took her cellphone and smashed it on the ground outside of the car.

She said Ford then wouldn’t let them out of the car. He drove to Jacksonville and back to Gainesville before he dropped them off at the home he shared with his girlfriend and drove off alone, stealing the victim’s car.

The victims told police they were terrified and unable to get out of the car at any point.  Both victims spoke to a victim advocate following the incident.

Police said Ford later called the victim saying he’d parked her car at a local Burger King, located at 3905 SW Archer Road, and said he was fleeing to Orlando.

Ford is being charged with domestic battery by strangulation, battery of a disabled person, two counts of kidnapping, stealing a vehicle and hindering communication to law enforcement.

He has still not been located, according to the release by GPD. If anyone has information on Ford’s location, he or she can call GPD at 352-955-1818.

About Rachel Crosby

Rachel is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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