PORT CHARLOTTE — A Punta Gorda woman was arrested overnight on sexual battery charges following an alleged altercation in Port Charlotte from which she tried to flee by hiding in the trunk of a car. Major Crimes detectives arrested Jessica Ann Gutzler, 34, of the 3200 block of Magnolia Way in Punta Gorda, on charges of sexual battery, felony battery by strangulation and resisting arrest without violence. She was being held at the Charlotte County Jail on a total $57,000 bond. According to reports, deputies were called to a location in Port Charlotte shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday for a disturbance. When one of the responding deputies got close to the area, he was passed by a vehicle speeding away without any headlights. He stopped the vehicle and the driver told him that Gutzler was hiding in the trunk. They opened the trunk and found Gutzler, who had blood on her. The deputies located several witnesses who told of hearing yelling and screaming coming from a nearby residence. When deputies spoke with the victim, she said Gutzler had arrived at her home earlier in the evening and had become violent with her. Gutzler is alleged to have hit her, choked her, and sexually battered her with an inanimate object.
The victim was transported to a local hospital, where she was treated. Evidence was found consistent with her account of what happened. At the conclusion of the investigation, when detectives told Gutzler she was being placed under arrest, Gutzler kicked an interview room door and attempted to pull away while being handcuffed. She was subdued and transported to the jail.
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