Seminole Co. firefighter accused of choking girlfriend faces judge


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A Seminole County firefighter, arrested on charges he attacked his girlfriend, faced a judge Monday.

Dean Erlandson, 24, was arrested shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday by Winter Springs police. He was charged with domestic battery and aggravated assault with a weapon.

A 911 caller described what he saw just minutes before police arrested Erlandson.

"I actually opened the door and I saw a man over a woman. She was on the ground whimpering," said the caller.

Police said Erlandson choked his girlfriend, held her at knifepoint and even pulled a gun on her during a fight over text messages she received from a male friend.

Monday, Erlandson tried to explain what happened, but the judge stopped him.

"Some of the things, as far as the kidnapping and assault it was just a…” said Erlandson.

"Please don't say anything. Remember your right to remain silent. If you say something, then your attorney will blame you and me for letting you talk," said the judge.

Related Story: Seminole Co. firefighter accused of choking girlfriend over text messages

This isn't Erlandson's first time in jail. In August, he was arrested and charged with punching a man in a downtown Orlando parking garage.

Monday, WFTV asked Seminole County Fire officials why he's still employed.

They said he's been placed on leave while under administrative review and is not collecting any of his $36,000 salary.

His family wouldn't talk to WFTV at the jail Monday. 

Over the phone, parents of his ex-girlfriend said they're proud of her for getting through what they call a horrific moment.

They declined the talk on camera out of fear Erlandson would lose his temper again.

A judge is scheduled to decide whether Erlandson will be granted bond on Tuesday.