A Washington man with a history of theft, burglary, assault and drug charges is accused of assaulting a woman and then threatening her in front of police.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Robert J. Spinelli, 48, Saturday on charges of second-degree domestic assault. He is being held in the Franklin County Jail on a $150,000 cash-only bond. 

According to Washington police, the charges stem from an incident at a home in the 300 block of Frank Street where officers responded following a 911 hang-up call. 

Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said the lights were off in the basement of the home where Spinelli and the victim live. When officers approached the stairs of the basement they heard Spinelli accuse the woman of calling police on him, Sitzes said.

The victim was located in the bathroom of the residence and she had injuries to her face, police said.

Spinelli allegedly told officers that the victim had tripped and he had blood on his hands because he was cleaning up blood from the floor, Sitzes said.

At the station, Spinelli was caught on a police officer body camera stating he struck the victim and he threatened her life for calling police, authorities said. 

Previous Charges

In February, Spinelli entered into a plea deal to avoid prison time on the charge of second-degree burglary, a felony. 

He was placed on five years’ supervised probation as part of the suspended execution sentence (s.e.s). The s.e.s is in lieu of a four-year term in the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDC), according to court records.

Spinelli was charged with burglary for allegedly stealing several items from the Dollar General Store on East Fifth Street in January 2016. During the incident, Spinelli claimed to have a gun and a knife when he was confronted.

Police said Spinelli allegedly took several small items and concealed them in his sweatshirt. After he left the store, other patrons told a clerk about the thefts and the clerk then confronted Spinelli on the parking lot, telling him to return the items, according to a report.

At that point, Spinelli allegedly told her he had a knife and gun, but never displayed a weapon. The clerk then called police.

Spinelli later went back inside the store as police were arriving and was arrested. No gun or knife were found.

At the time of his arrest, Spinelli recently had been released on parole from the MDC after serving part of a seven-year sentence on felony drug possession convictions.

The drug convictions were out of Ste. Genevieve County and the prison sentence ran concurrent with two St. Francois County convictions of second-degree assault for operating a vehicle while intoxicated that resulted in injury.

In July 2018, Spinelli was arrested at the same home on Frank Street for multiple outstanding warrants after police responded to a home for a peace disturbance.

He was found by Washington police hiding in the basement of the home. 

Spinelli and a woman who lived at the residence were arguing, which prompted a call for a peace disturbance.