NEW YORK — Police say a 24-year-old New York City man punched and choked his girlfriend, then ordered her to walk through the streets wearing only a towel as he videotaped her.
The video, which also shows the woman naked on the street, wound up online, and news media ran it with her body obscured. In the video he can be heard calling her a "b****" and a whore. After ripping off her towel and leaving her completely exposed, she tries to hide herself near some trash cans and he says, "The price of being a cheater, right there in the garbage, exactly, pose with your garbage."
Jason Melo is awaiting arraignment in Manhattan on assault charges. He was arrested Wednesday after his 22-year-old girlfriend filed a report. It's unclear if Melo has an attorney who could comment on the charges.
The woman says he threatened to kill her if she didn't go out in the towel.
Melo, who has a young daughter with his girlfriend, said on Instagram that he feels "bad as a man" but that others would have done "something crazier" if they went through what he did.
He asked all the women watching for forgiveness, saying, "Maybe I made a mistake, doing what I did, taking her out naked in the beginning. If I could go back in time I wouldn't do it. Because in my mind, so much has happened to me."
On the same account, however, Melo posted a satire version of the video with a shirtless man pretending to be her.
His Instagram apologies have been inundated with comments blasting his behavior. One person wrote, "Everyone uses the excuse that we are all just human beings. Please. In what world or mind is what you did excusable?"
New York City first lady Chirlane McCray referenced the case in a statement Thursday, saying domestic abuse won't be tolerated in the city.
"Today's arrest sends a clear message that domestic violence is heinous crime and the glorification of one's violent actions on social media will lead to an immediate response," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez in a statement. "As a father of two daughters and brother to seven sisters, I was deeply appalled by this video and urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant in combating domestic violence in all its forms."