A 27-year-old Mount Pleasant woman was charged with assault by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office after she punched and strangled a woman at a friend’s birthday party in the 1600 block of Lakewood Avenue at 1:04 a.m. Wednesday, April 1.

Ashley Gehrke was charged with felony counts of strangulation and suffocation, substantial battery-intend bodily harm, and false imprisonment, and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. If convicted on all charges, Gehrke faces up to 15 years nine months in prison and/or fines of up to $31,000.

According to the Mount Pleasant Police Department, a 24-year-old woman was at a birthday party when Gehrke punched her, threw her to the ground and wouldn’t let her leave the house for no reason. When police arrived, the woman had injuries to her head, neck and face. After being treated for her injuries, the woman told police that Gehrke thought she was hitting on her boyfriend.

During the assault the woman tried to leave the house several times, but she was unable to do so. Gehrke’s boyfriend watched the assault as Gehrke pulled her hair, stuck her fingers down her throat and punched her many times.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Mt. Pleasant Police Department at 884-0454 option #4 or Crime Stoppers at (262) 636-9330, via e-mail through the website www.racine.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) and typing in TIP417 with your text message.

A cash bond was set for $750. Gehrke is expected to have a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. April 9 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.