Jason Melo arrested after forcing wife to walk naked down New York City street

The city's first lady has said such abuse will 'not be tolerated'

Jess Staufenberg
Friday 22 January 2016 17:00
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New York City's first lady said all private and public spaces should be safe for women and girl
New York City's first lady said all private and public spaces should be safe for women and girl

A man has been arrested for forcing his wife to walk naked down a street after physically abusing her in front of their newborn daughter.

Jason Melo has been charged with assault, menacing behaviour and endangering the welfare of a child after filming the misogynistic treatment on a New York street, according to the New York Post.

The footage sparked outrage in the city and has drawn the attention of Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City.

The 22-year-old wife of Melo has testified that he choked and punched her in front of their daughter, before telling her to walk on the street in only a towel on threat of further abuse.

Melo is shown pulling off his partner's towel in an effort to humiliate her in public

A video, which emerged as Melo was being held ahead of his arraignment, shows him pulling of her towel on the street while he accuses her of texting other men.

"Take off your towel. You're going to pay the price like a w****. Since you're a w****, pose like a w****," he says on the video.

His wife, with whom he has a three-month-old daughter, then asks for the towel back as she tries to hide between cars and cover herself with a motorcycle cover.

Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the city would not tolerate this kind of abuse.

"We are steadfast in our efforts to make sure all victims of abuse are aware of the many resources available as we strive to make New York City's public and private spaces safe for all women and girls," she said in a press statement.

Melo has since uploaded a number of videos to his Instagram page asking for forgiveness and claiming to wish he could undo his actions.

"I did not want this. I did not think this would get to this point," Melo said in Spanish, according to CNN. "Maybe I did make a mistake, to do what I did, from the beginning to take her out naked."

"I take the fault. I have asked forgiveness from her, too, but I want everyone to know that I am not as bad as everyone thinks."

A woman is beaten or assaulted every nine seconds in the US, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

In the UK, domestic violence against women remains high even as other types of violent crime continue to fall.

Melo appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday and was charged with assault in the third degree, menacing in the second degree, and endangering the welfare of a child.

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