Eglin AFB Army Ranger arrested for pulling gun on woman, making threats

Northwest Florida

NAVARRE, Fla. (WKRG) — A man listed online as a Staff Sergeant with the 6th Ranger Training Battalion at Eglin Air Force Base has been arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on a woman threatening to kill her and choking her.

Damian Valdez, 30, was arrested Tuesday in Santa Rosa County after an incident that happened in August at a home in Navarre.

Valdez is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, domestic battery by strangulation and using a firearm under the influence of alcohol.

According to the arrest report, a woman left the home and called 911 saying she and Valdez were fighting and that Valdez was intoxicated. The woman said he was upset to learn she had a boyfriend and she shut herself in a bedroom but Valdez broke through the door. She said he got on top of her on the bed and put his hands on her throat strangling her but she was able to break free.

She said Valdez then started “gearing up” putting on a bulletproof vest and other tactical gear and pulling a pistol from his waistband telling her he would kill her and her boyfriend. She said he went to chamber a round in the pistol and the gun jammed but he cleared it and turned the gun on himself and put it in his mouth stating he was going to die tonight.

After pleading with him to stop, she said he ran outside behind the house then she heard a gunshot leading to her calling for help, according to the report filed with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrived and Valdez came out after a brief standoff. He came outside wearing a tactical vest which contained empty magazines and a military issued smoke grenade. Deputies found a loaded firearm inside the home.

A preliminary breath test performed at the jail showed Valdez had a blood alcohol level of .211.

He was released Friday morning from the Santa Rosa County Jail on a $13,500 bond.

News 5 has reached out to get a statement and current military status for Valdez but we are waiting on a response.

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