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Man choked, punched child during burglary in Ocala, deputies say

Tyler Helferich, 22, charged with aggravated battery, grand theft

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OCALA, Fla. – A man is arrested after deputies say he tried to break into a home at Northeast 13th Street and then choked and beat a girl in the home.

Deputies said Tyler James Helferich, 22, who was masked, was attempting to get into the home Wednesday night when a girl, who was inside the home, went to investigate the noise. Helferich asked her where her brother was and when she did not answer he began choking her.

Deputies said when she still couldn't tell Helferich where her brother was, he forced her to the floor and began punching her in the face, nose and eye. He then made her walk him to the front door of the home and he fled to the house next door.

After being confronted by a woman in the garage, Helferich grabbed a bicycle and left the area, deputies said.

Helferich was found as he was attempting to steal a car. Deputies said during the attempt, he drove into a mailbox, damaging the vehicle and the mailbox.

Helferich was apprehended and arrested. He is charged with aggravated battery, residential burglary, grand theft, auto theft and criminal mischief.

Deputies said the girl who was attacked was taken to the emergency room. Her condition is unknown.