PD: Woman assaulted in Mesa after trying to leave drunk boyfriend's car

MESA, AZ - A woman was severely beaten after she left her boyfriend's car following a collision in Mesa. 

Mesa police report that on September 10 they were called to a parking lot near Gilbert Road and Southern Avenue after a vehicle hit a tree and was left unattended.

As police were waiting for a tow truck to arrive, two witnesses showed up and reported that the driver was fighting with a woman in a nearby alley.

As police approached, the suspect, 19-year-old Nathaniel Joseph Lara, ran from police but was soon apprehended. Lara reportedly was covered in blood.

He allegedly admitted to police that he had been drinking when he drove into the tree.

The victim, Lara’s girlfriend, told him she didn't want to be in the car with him anymore and left. Lara pursued her, grabbed her, and after the woman hit him, he knocked her to the ground and punched her repeatedly and also strangled her to the point of unconsciousness.

Lara reportedly told police that he blacked out and didn't remember what happened until "he looked down and saw she was all bloody."

Police say the woman had multiple facial cuts and a possible broken jaw. Lara, police say, had a .149 blood alcohol content.

He was arrested for aggravated assault and underage drinking.

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