DECATUR – Demarrion Cochran, a 21-year-old Decatur parolee, was arraigned Friday on nine felony counts, after a plainclothes detective witnessed him punch a woman in the head while she was driving, drag her out of her car by her hair and punch her several more times.

The victim's infant daughter was present in the vehicle during the incident.

Decatur Police Street Crimes Detective Lonny Lewellyn was sitting in an unmarked vehicle in the vicinity of North Street and East Avenue at about 1 p.m. Friday, March 24, when he saw a woman driving a silver car nearby, with a male passenger beside her.

The detective saw the passenger, later identified as Cochran, grab the woman by the throat and push her against the driver's door, Lewellyn wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

While he held her against the door with his left hand, he struck the victim “in her head and face with full force, about eight to 10 times with his closed fist,” Lewellyn wrote in his statement.

As the driver drove east on North Street, past the detective's vehicle, Lewellyn made a U-turn and followed her car.

When she pulled to the south curb on the 1600 block of East North Street, Cochran exited the vehicle and walked toward his residence, on the opposite side of the street.

As the driver began to pull away from the curb, the detective witnessed “Cochran turn back towards the car, run directly to the driver door, and grab (the victim) by her hair through the open driver window.”

Cochran opened the door, dragged the victim out of the car by her hair, along the roadway and onto the grassy boulevard.

“I observed Cochran punch (the victim) with full force in her face and head area two of three more times before I could exit my vehicle to take Cochran into custody.”

The victim, who told police she had been “battered often” by Cochran, suffered bruising and swelling to her face.

Cochran, who was released from prison Dec. 2 after serving half of a 16-month sentence, is being held in jail without bond. He is facing one count of vehicular invasion, four counts of aggravated battery and four counts of domestic battery with a prior domestic battery conviction.

In his most recent conviction, Cochran broke into a 19-year-old woman's northside home, dragged her by her hair from a closet where she was hiding, threw her onto a bed, mounted her and “drove his thumbs into the corners of her eyes,” according to a police affidavit. He was charged with Class X home invasion, criminal trespass and domestic battery, pleading guilty to the two latter charges.

He is due in court April 12 for a preliminary hearing.

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer for the Herald & Review.