Tampa, FL - The arrest of 25-year-old motocross champ has gone viral after photos of his girlfriend’s battered face were posted on Instagram.
Melissa Gentz, a 22-year-old student at the University of South Florida, is from Brazil and claimed that Erick Bretz had beaten and strangled her on Sept. 23 while they are at his apartment in downtown Tampa, according to the Tampa Times.
Gentz posted a photo of her battered face on Instagram on Sept. 26 and had 245,072 likes as of Oct. 7.
Gentz wrote on the post: “You know how we usually have a side of our face that we prefer more than the other? I like my left side. Unfortunately, it’s the side that was severely bruised by violence. Today was the first day in which I felt like passing some mascara and blush on the right side of my face... I won’t hide the marks of my story because NO woman should feel ashamed of feel blamed for being a victim of domestic violence.”
In the photo, Gentz has a hemmorhage in her right eye as well as a badly bruised left side of her face.
Bretz was arrested and has pleaded not guilty to charges of domestic battery by strangulation, according to the Tampa Times.
He is also charged with tampering with a witness.
Bretz’s family owns one of Brazil’s largest grocery chains and his family is thought to be one of the wealthiest of Brazil’s celebrities.
Gentz said in court documents that Bretz "is a multi-millionaire and has resources to harm others."
The police wrote in a report that Bretz takes the drug Patz for insomnia. Bretz became argumentative and jealous after taking his medication and drinking about four beers and three-fourths of a bottle of wine, according to police.
Gentz told police that Bretz took her cell phone. She said he “bothered” her, so she pushed him and attempted to punch him.
Bretz then threw Gentz to the floor, kicked her in the face and began to strangle her with his legs, according to the police report.
He then hit Gentz in the face many times and pulled out chunks of her hair, she told police. Bretz then threw her around the room by her hair and then hit her in the face with a wine bottle, which left a long cut across her forehead, according to the police.
Gentz got free and ran into the apartment’s bathroom. She tried to call 911, but Bretz kicked in the door and trapped her inside the bathroom, Gentz said.
Gentz did manage to escape and ran into the building’s lobby and the doorman called 911 for an ambulance.
When she returned to the apartment with two police officers to collect her belongings, Bretz was sleeping, according to the Tampa Times.
On her Instagram page, Gentz wrote about the increasing amount of violence in her relationship with Bretz. She said it started with complaints about her Instagram photos and then it was about comments people left on the photos and about messages she received.
Then then posted a picture of herself in a black tank top which she says that Bretz had deleted.
"I am reposting this picture because my ex-boyfriend deleted it without my consent," her post said. "He told me that women with boyfriends could not have pictures 'showing their breasts'. I am asking ALL Women to have the strength and courage to end abusive relationships like my last one was. It all started with complaints about my Instagram photos, then about comments on the photos...to text messages that I received on my phone... There came the day in which he grabbed me by my hair and told me that I had to accept my reality because I was the woman in the relationship. A man that treats you like this does not respect you or see you as a human being. He is not going to change. Always put yourself in first place... before it is too late."
Bretz spent two days in jail before being released on $60,000 bond, according to The Daily Mail. He agreed to a restraining order that keeps him away from Gentz and is also banned from being on the university's campus.