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A spat between a couple in Safford, Arizona was the subject of a story in the Eastern Arizona Courier this week, after the local sheriff’s department responded to a distress call from the victim, unnamed in the article. The couple had been having problems for weeks — arguing over petty things, as well as larger issues like money and fidelity — before Joseph Porto, age 29, decided to drive his car into his girlfriend’s garage door.


By the time police arrived on the scene the garage door was dented, and inoperable, the newspaper reported. Porto had fled, but was easily reached by telephone. He denied having been drunk when he got behind the wheel of his used Dodge Caravan (it was parked in the driveway of the victim) and accelerated, plowing into the garage door, nearly bending it in half. He admitted that he was angry — the victim reportedly left his motorcycle outside in a hailstorm recently, a careless oversight that seemed to communicate that she didn’t understand what was really important to him, didn’t understand him full stop — and that his anger had affected his ability to drive. His hands shook as he entered her home through the garage, frightening her as he ripped a clock and several framed photos from the walls. He left when she threatened to call the police. The garage door was struck as he attempted to drive away. He had pressed down on both the gas and the brake, Porto would later claim.


While police inspected the garage door’s damage, they noticed that the smell of marijuana lingered in the air. The victim appeared intoxicated and refused to press charges. She says Porto believed she was cheating on him. Beyond the garage door’s giant dent, the victim’s car was also damaged by Porto’s reckless driving.

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