SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – Christopher Hyler, the man who claimed Jesus told him to attack his girlfriend, has a long criminal history.
“He’s a repeat offender,” said Salem Police Lt. Don Beeson.
Beeson says that he and his officers have had plenty of experience with the now 28 year old since he turned 18.
“All over. Suspect, victim, arrested, various capacities. But it’s over 50 times his name comes up in reports,” he said.
Hyler has been arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing official business, assault and aggravated trespassing, in addition to several arrest warrants.
Hyler is now sitting in the Mahoning County Jail after being arrested Tuesday in Jackson Township. He’s accused of beating his girlfriend so badly that police said she couldn’t even open her eyes.
On Wednesday when he appeared in court, Hyler had to be removed after an outburst in which he said he didn’t understand why he was in trouble because “Jesus told [him] to get the demons out of her.”
The day before, at about the same time his girlfriend was discovered in a local motel room, prosecutors say Hyler appeared in Columbiana County Municipal Court on assault charges.
The victim didn’t appear in court that day because she was in the hospital, so Hyler’s case was dismissed. Prosecutors in Lisbon said Friday that they are refiling charges and will likely have a hold placed on Hyler in case he manages to get out jail in this latest case.
Those charges are related to a pair of incidents last summer at a Salem apartment involving the same woman.
“Both times, they found the victim beaten about the face,” Beeson said.
In July of 2016, neighbors called police after they said they heard noise and loud thuds from another apartment. They told police they found Hyler’s girlfriend knocked out on the floor.
According to a police report, she was bleeding from her face and nose. Hyler left the apartment before police arrived, and officers couldn’t find him.
Just a couple of weeks later, in August, police were called back. They said the woman had new bruises and cuts, and her eyeglasses were smashed.
She told police that Hyler pushed her to the ground, choked her and hit her in the face. He then stood up, put his boot across her throat and said he would kill her, according to police.
Again, officers were not able to find Hyler after this incident.
“One thing that Mr. Hyler has a habit of doing is, he’s a runner. Our officers have had to engage him in foot chases several times. Numerous warrant arrests, assault, disorderly conduct,” Beeson said.
He says Hyler’s history of violence and attempts at trying to escape make him dangerous.
“I’d be concerned for his safety; I’d be concerned for officers’ safety,” he said.
Hyler is due back in court again on Monday.