Indialantic firefighter accused of choking girlfriend



MELBOURNE, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned a captain in the Indialantic Fire Department has been granted pre-trial release after allegations he choked his girlfriend.

Shane Downs has been with the agency since 2010, but investigators said he attacked his girlfriend when she tried to call for help for the firefighter after he threatened to hurt himself.

Downs surrendered himself to Melbourne police Thursday on charges of domestic violence battery  and false imprisonment stemming from the incident last month.

Because Downs has no prior arrest history, he was granted pre-trial release.

"When she went to see how he was, he would hold the door and would not let her leave the apartment," said Sgt. Sheridan Shelley of the Melbourne Police Department. "That escalated into a physical confrontation where he held her up against the wall by her neck."

Downs' attorney told Channel 9 the motions he plans to file next week will speak for themselves.

"He does have a battery charge, and we anticipate that there will be cooperation on both side of this particular case and once again," said defense attorney Steve Casanova.

Casanova said there are still some concerns about Downs' employment with the town of Indialantic.

The town manager said no determination had been made in regards to any action the town might take.