'Please help me:' Cashier helps save domestic violence victim, deputies say

Woman had injuries on her leg, according to report

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Deltona gas station clerk helped save a visibly injured domestic violence victim who repeatedly mouthed "please help me" to her Monday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

The clerk stated to deputies that the woman entered the Circle K gas station with a man shortly before 5 p.m. After splitting up inside the store, the woman approached the counter and mouthed "please help me," then looked over her shoulder in fear to the man with whom she had arrived, deputies said.

As the woman and 35-year-old Joseph Winters were leaving, the clerk called 911 to report the incident, according to the affidavit.

"The look of fear in her face, you can't fake," the clerk said to a 911 operator.

The clerk said in a 911 call that she noticed injuries on the woman's leg.

"She had blood on her knee going down her whole leg," the clerk said.

Following the interaction, deputies said the clerk saw Winters put his arm around the woman and hurry her out of the store, and then the pair left the gas station in a silver Chrysler 300.

Deputies were already en route to investigate a prior call regarding two similar people at another Deltona gas station when they observed a matching Chrysler 300 and driver description, according to authorities.

A traffic stop and separate questioning of Winters and the woman were conducted, according to the report. When asked about her injury, the woman said she fell off of her scooter a day prior, deputies said. 

The woman said she did ask for help while at the Circle K gas station, but said she regretted it and did not need any assistance, records show. The woman then said she could not provide more information on the events that occurred due to Winters having leverage against her.

According to the report, the woman appeared frightened, did not make eye contact with deputies and consistently looked in the direction where Winters was being questioned. Deputies said it appeared the woman was trying to let Winters know she had given deputies minimal information.

After questioning, deputies said they determined there was probable cause and charged Winters with domestic violence battery due to the woman's fresh injuries and witness accounts.

According to the arrest report, after Winters was placed under arrest, the woman made a "stop talking" gesture and tried to communicate with him.

"Don't say anything, because nothing happened, right?" the woman said, according to authorities.

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