This month, a man was sentenced to five months in prison after he nearly strangled his girlfriend to death in the parking lot of the Waterford Speedbowl.
On March 12th, 56-year-old David Mihalov of Stratford was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended after five months, followed by three years of probation. Mihalov pled guilty to second-degree strangulation, a class D felony, which was part of a plea agreement with the prosecution.
Mihalov was originally charged with first-degree strangulation, second-degree assault and third-degree breach of peace after being arrested by the Waterford Police Department in July for almost strangling his girlfriend to death in the parking lot of the Waterford Speedbowl. Mihalov, who has no criminal record and his girlfriend, mother and siblings said was not violent in the past, strangled his girlfriend after he was kicked out of Mohegan Sun Resort Casino for being intoxicated.
“I was sure, if I didn’t escape, I would have been dead,” said the victim, who was not identified in court records. “He was in a rage that I’ve never seen anyone capable of.”
The victim told Patch that she has had trouble sleeping since the assault and remains "unable to comprehend" that Mihalov could do such a thing. She said she felt justice was served with the sentence although was “remorseful” the incident happened at all.
“That evening I lost my identity,” she said in a statement to the court. “A man who was in my life for over two years took that from me. He was callous, evil, hurtful and aware of his intention to kill me as he stated over and over.”
On July 5th, 2012 Mihalov spent the day at Mohegan Sun Casino, according to the victim. That night he met his girlfriend of two years for dinner at Sol Toro restaurant, which is located within the casino, according to court records.
There, he was kicked out of the restaurant and eventually the casino for being intoxicated, according to court records. A police officer walked Mihalov and his girlfriend to Mihalov’s car and told them that the girlfriend would have to drive, according to court records.
Mihalov’s girlfriend began to drive when Mihalov began screaming at her, telling her that he wanted to drive, according to court records. His girlfriend stopped to get gas, where he pushed her out of the drivers' seat into the passengers seat and began to drive at around 100 mph, according to court records.
He eventually pulled off into the parking lot of the Waterford Speedbowl, according to court records. There, he began punching her and telling her he was going to kill her, according to court records.
To avoid the beating, his girlfriend got out of the car and began running in the parking lot of the Waterford Speedbowl, according to court records. Mihalov caught up with her, put her in a chokehold and began restricting her airflow, according to court records.
“I have no idea how long he tried to restrict my breathing,” the victim later said in a statement to the court. “I do recall seeing white dots and giving up trying to get his hands off my neck. I felt like this was it for me.”
A man and a woman saw Mihalov strangling his girlfriend and ran over to break it up, according to court records. That couple probably saved the victim’s life, she said.
“(They) were the only reason I probably didn’t die,” she said.
Mihalov then took off in his car, and was later apprehended by police in North Stonington.
Court investigators interviewed Mihalov’s mother, brother and sister, and they all said that he had a drinking problem but was not a violent person. They all said they were surprised about the arrest.
Mihalov himself was interviewed and admitted that he began drinking more after his father died three years ago. He said he was committed to stop drinking.
For work, Mihalov ran the family business, Major Tire Company in Stratford. He had no criminal record before this incident.
On January 25th, he pled guilty to a charge of second-degree strangulation. On March 12th, he was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by three years of parole. As part of his parole, he must undergo alcohol consoling, write an apology letter to the victim and the victim was granted a lifelong protective order against him.
“I was intoxicated on the evening involving this incident, which led to my arrest,” Mihalov said in a statement to the court. “I know alcohol is not an excuse for my behavior though I don’t remember exactly everything that happened. It seemed it was like a drunken blur.”
“I am truly sorry for my actions and hope the victim will forgive me,” the statement continued. “I have never exhibited this type of behavior before in the past and I have taken steps to prevent this kind of behavior from happening again in the future.”