And a few days later, breach of release. Aug. 2 court appearance for earlier charges.
John C. Atkins, former state representative, has been arrested again in relation to domestic violence, and for breach of release.
Atkins, 48, of Millsboro, was most recently charged with harassment and breach of release July 20. His ex-girlfriend contacted police after receiving multiple calls, texts and emails, despite a no-contact order issued to him July 13. After being charged, Atkins was released on unsecured bail.
According to court documents, on July 12, Atkins and the victim were at the Indian River Inlet when he became enraged over a text she got from another man and strangled her, hitting her under an eye as she struggled. The victim was able to get away and went home, where Atkins was waiting and continued the argument, hitting her in her hat, which struck her nose.
For that incident, Atkins was charged with strangulation and third-degree assault and released on unsecured bail. He’s due in court Aug. 2.
Despite being a lawmaker himself for many years, the incident was far from his first brush with breaking the law.
Atkins was first elected as the Republican state representative for District 41 (Millsboro) in 2002, but resigned in 2007 after attempting to use his legislative status to his advantage during a drunk driving incident in Ocean City, Maryland. Later that same night, he was arrested for offensive touching following an incident with his wife.
He ran for representative in 2008, this time as a Democrat, and won.
In 2012, another police incident led Atkins to resign from his position on the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. After being caught speeding and receiving a verbal warning, he sent an inflammatory email to Delaware State Police implying the incident would affect how he voted on police-related bills.
In 2014, Delaware Family Court issued a protective order against him to his wife and children after she related incidents of abuse and expressed fear he would harm her, their children or himself. Atkins then filed for his own protection order, claiming his wife was abusive toward him and a danger to their children. They were eventually given joint custody. That year, Atkins lost his representative seat to Rich Collins.
In 2016, he was charged with offensive touching and criminal mischief after an ex-girlfriend claimed he pushed her and kicked her car, but charges were later dropped.