Former state representative charged with three counts of domestic violence

Baxter Troutman in his current mugshot
Baxter Troutman in his current mugshot Polk County Sheriff's Office

A former Florida state representative and a failed 2018 candidate for Department of Agriculture commissioner was arrested Saturday on domestic violence charges.

Lakeland’s Baxter Troutman, a member of the Florida Legislature from 2002-2010, paid $5,500 bail for his release Saturday after being cuffed by Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies. He’s charged with two counts of domestic violence-battery by touch or strike and one count of domestic violence-battery with great bodily harm.

His wife, Rebecca Troutman, filed a temporary restraining order Friday while Polk County Sheriff’s Office filed a Risk Protection Order to prohibit Baxter Troutman from possessing firearms as a person who, as Florida law states, “poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his or her custody or control.”

This isn’t Baxter Troutman’s first time being arrested after an altercation with his wife. In 2012, Rebecca Troutman told police her husband hit her in the face with a thrown comforter, then pushed her when she tried to push him out of the bedroom.

Baxter Troutman 2012.JPG
Baxter Troutman’s mugshot after his 2012 arrest on a battery charge. Polk County Sheriff's Office

The case wasn’t prosecuted, but was referenced in passing by Rebecca during a commercial during her husband’s agriculture commissioner campaign commercial last year. Troutman lost to Matt Caldwell in the Republican primary.

Even back then, the arrest report says Rebecca Troutman told PCSO deputies they slept in separate bedrooms. That’s still the case today, according to a Tampa Bay Times reading of the current arrest report.

That report, the Times said, claims Saturday’s arrest followed a Wednesday argument after Rebecca Troutman said she wanted to buy a Lakeland home in her own name. She said Baxter threw her off the bed to the floor by violently yanking the comforter in which she’d wrapped herself.

The Times reading of the report says she told deputies Baxter hit her in the face with her cell phone earlier in 2018 and broke one of her a pinky fingers in 2015.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.