One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. It’s a staggering statistic that affects millions of women around the country. Often the cases go unreported, but private investigator Erik Martinez of Ft. Lauderdale Florida made sure one abusive boyfriend would get justice.
Martinez spends most days on the road tracking down and videotaping bad guys. But while on surveillance for a fraud case, something else caught his eye. A man and his girlfriend were in a heated argument. He told INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero he began taping the argument when he saw the girlfriend’s hands up in a defensive position.
That’s what initially caught my attention. That her hands were up the whole time and that's why I decided to start filming," Martinez explained.
Even though it looked like the argument was over, Martinez kept rolling. The boyfriend briefly leaves but quickly turns around and charges towards his girlfriend, knocking her phone out of her hands and violently striking her across the face. Then, he forces her into a corner and smashes his forehead into her face.
With his camera still rolling, Martinez called 911. But before police arrived, the woman took off, and the man followed after her. Martinez assumed he wouldn't see them again, but then, a few minutes later, they came racing down the block. The woman, trying to get away, is rammed from behind and forced off the road right in front of Martinez’ camera
"I was thinking, he's going to kill her. I thought he was losing his mind and he is going to hurt her," said Martinez.
The man got out of his car and a cat and mouse game began, with the victim trying to keep the car between them to stay out of harms way. Then, all of a sudden the man ripped off his shirt and leapt over the victim's car to get to his victim.
Martinez, scared for the woman’s life, told Guerrero, "I got back on 911 and told them, ‘you guys have got to get here now because this is escalating’."
: "Has anything changed since you called?" asked the 911 Operator.
"Yeah, he came back, and he just rear-ended her car, rammed the hell out of it and now they're arguing, right in front of my car it's escalating, so they need to get here."
Fortunately, the police arrived seconds later, but the victim was hesitant to press charges. That's when Martinez played the tape and police immediately arrest the man, Andre Mitchell Bryant, and charged him with battery.
Lisa Guererro spoke to Bryant at his trial, "First you hit her, then you head butted her, then you slammed your car into her car. How can you justify that?"
"Slamming my car into hers wasn't intentional. I didn't see the brake lights working," Bryant said. "It certainly looked intentional," said Guererro. "It wasn't intentional," he replied.
"Why were you so outraged?" "I can't really tell you. That's not normally me. Honestly, late night work, stressed out. I don't know what happened to me," said Bryant.
"This is actually priceless video,” explains Robert Crispin, a former police officer and owner of Crispen Special Investigations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who has investigated hundreds of domestic violence calls. “This captures situations that occur every day all across America that never get caught on tape."
Andre Bryant pleaded no contest to the charges and received two years of probation, but no jail time. According to his plea agreement, the conviction will be expunged when he completes his probation.