Man charged with assault by swallowed cell phone

Police dial-up a new story

Marlon Brando Gill may have taken AT&T's "reach out and touch someone" slogan too far, according to officials. Police have charged the Missouri man with felony assault, suspecting that Gill crammed a cell phone down his girlfriend's throat during an argument.

Last week, we reported that 24-year-old Melinda Abell had been taken to the hospital because a cell phone had blocked her breathing. At the time, police presented the idea that the woman had swallowed the phone on purpose in an effort to keep it away from her boyfriend.

Now, however, the authorities see the matter as an assault instead.

"Our initial press release was that she had swallowed a cell phone," Police Sgt. Allen Kintz told the AP. "Subsequent investigation found that she didn't swallow the cell phone voluntarily. That was what we were told initially."

Abell apparently told detectives that Gill screamed at her during an argument and then shoved the phone down her throat. Doctors removed it at the hospital.

Jackson County Prosecutor Michael Sanders is seeking a $100,000 bond, and police are pursuing Gill. ®

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