NEW MILFORD — Probate Court Judge Martin Landgrebe found himself on the other side of the bench Wednesday after being arrested by police on strangulation charges.

According to New Milford police, Landgrebe, of Aspetuck Village, was charged with third-degree strangulation and disorderly conduct for an incident that occured on Aug. 8.

Police said Landgrebe, a popular public figure in New Milford whose arrest was met with disbelief on Wednesday, turned himself in after learning about a warrant for his arrest. Landgrebe was not immediately reachable for comment.

Court documents state that the woman Landgrebe is accused of assaulting initially sought help from a neighbor, stating that she had been attacked and needed a ride to the hospital. Police later found the woman walking along Prospect Hill Road after the neighbor called 911.

While the woman had refused to cooperate with police when first approached, she later named her attacker as Landgrebe, court documents state, and that she was afraid of him due to his “connections” and because he could “make her disappear.”

The woman also told police that, while fearing for her life after the attack, wrote out notes that she dropped out of her bedroom window stating, “Help please help me... Marty Landgrebe murdered me,” the affidavit states.

The woman had told police that the attack was completely out of character for Landgrebe and that she was afraid for her life due to comments the probate judge made during the arguement that shocked her at the time.

“He’s never done anything like this before,” she told police, according to the affidavit. “I couldn’t believe the things he was yelling at me.”

Court documents state that the woman and Landgrebe were drinking together at a local establishment and the fight began after he brought the woman to her home. The woman told police that Landgrebe pinned her down in the grass behind the home by holding her throat.

At no time did she have difficulty breathing during the episode, she told police. Officers observed several injuries consistent with an attack, according to court documents, including a large abrasion on her neck and scratches to the back of her legs.

Landgrebe, when questioned by police about the incident, said that he was defending himself during the ordeal. The judge also had injuries, including scratches on his face, the affidavit states. Landgrebe said he was helping the woman up the stairs when she began to scream and ran out of the house.

She wanted to call a former relative, Landgrebe told police, adding that he gave the woman her cell phone so that she could make the call. The former relative, according to the affidavit, said the woman had a history of erratic behavior while drinking.

Landgrebe has been a probate judge in the state since 1999, according to his online biography. He is currently the judge of Connecticut’s new Housatonic Probate District, which serves 65,000 residents in the towns of Bridgewater, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman.

He had previously served as the judge of the New Milford-Bridgewater Probate District for twelve years. Landgrebe is a member of the Connecticut Probate Assembly and the National College of Probate Judges, the New Milford Bar Association and the Litchfield Bar Association.

Landgrebe, who could not be reached for comment, was arraigned on the charges in Waterbury Superior Court Wednesday. He was released on a promise to appear again in court on Aug. 30.

dperrefort@newstimes.com