TV News Anchor Accused Of Assaulting Pregnant Woman
A television news anchor in Florida was arrested for assaulting a pregnant woman at his home over the weekend, police said.
Marco Aurelio Villareal, a 37-year-old morning anchor for WFLA in Tampa, was collared at his home in the city’s Cory Lake Isles neighborhood late Sunday after police responded to the residence and found the alleged victim “very upset” and emotional while speaking to officers, police said.
The woman, who was six months pregnant, had no visible signs of injuries and declined medical attention at the scene. There were also no signs of any struggle inside the residence, where detectives also interviewed the alleged victim’s two children over the alleged domestic dispute, police said.
Villareal, who was not home when police responded to the residence, returned once reached by investigators on his cellphone. An officer met him in the driveway, where investigators photographed him but found no visible signs of injuries, police said.
Villareal, who only had his cellphone, wallet and keys on him at the time, was then arrested after refusing to complete a written statement regarding the alleged incident. The victim did submit a written statement to responding officers, police said.
Villareal, a Houston native, declined to comment when reached Tuesday morning by The Post. He has been released from custody on a charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman after posting $7,500 bond, jail records show.
“Nothing at this time,” he said when reached by phone. “Thank you.”
Station officials said in a statement on its website that Villareal will not return to its newscast until “an investigation of the charges” has been completed.
“WFLA will have no additional comment at this time,” the statement read.
Villarreal has worked for the station since December 2016, the Tampa Bay Times reports. He has previously worked at WRCB in Tennessee, WTXL in Florida and KTNV in Las Vegas, according to his biography on the station’s website.
Villareal’s Facebook page was no longer active as of early Tuesday.