SANTA ROSA BEACH — Zachary Billingsley, the executive director of the Children’s Volunteer Healthcare Network, was arrested early Friday on multiple domestic violence charges.
According to his arrest report from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to Billingsley’s home in Santa Rosa Beach at 11:59 p.m. Thursday after a woman called 911.
The Daily News is not disclosing the name of the woman or her relationship to Billingsley to protect her identity.
The woman told sheriff's deputies she and Billingsley were in an argument that evening when he began to yell at her “because he was drunk.” When she pulled out her cellphone to text a friend that things were getting “verbal” between her and Billingsley, he took he phone away to prevent her from receiving help, according to the report.
Billingsley then trapped the woman in a closet for about 10 minutes so she couldn’t leave the house. When she was able to get out, the woman tried to call 911 for help but Billingsly would not give back her cellphone. She then ran into the kitchen, where Billingsley grabbed her face, covering her mouth and nose. The woman said she “believed she was going to die” because she could not breathe, the report said.
After Billingsley finally let go of her, the woman ran to a window to try and escape but he shut the window so she could not leave. She was finally able to escape out the front door and ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
As she was leaving, Billingsley threatened she “would be sorry” if she did not return, according to the report.
When deputies arrived, Billingsley “appeared to be disoriented and was uncooperative with his verbal statements,” the report said. He denied their argument became physical, but could not explain why the woman’s mouth was bleeding and swelling, why she was hiding from him and why she had left her phone behind.
Billingsley, 40, was arrested and charged with domestic battery by strangulation, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. He was booked into the Walton County Jail on $5,000 bond and had not been released as of Friday afternoon.
The Children's Volunteer Healthcare Network is a charity that provides medical care to children of low-income families in Walton and Okaloosa counties. According to the organization's website, Billingsley joined CVHN as a volunteer and mentor in 2006. The site says he "was inspired by CVHN’s work and his mentoring experience while volunteering with CVHN and wanted to get more involved."
Billingsly joined the board in 2007 and served as the organization's treasurer for two years before he became executive director in 2010.
"Zach is a dedicated leader who combines his passion for helping kids with strong management and financial skills," the website says.
Officials with the Children’s Volunteer Healthcare Network did not immediately return a request seeking comment.