“Does everybody know what time it is? It’s Tool Time!”

This was the famous phrase that came out of Home Improvement, the famous American sitcom that starred Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, played by renowned actor, Tim Allen.

Alas, for his sidekick star, Zachery Ty Bryan, who played Tim’s eldest son in the hit 90s sitcom, the only time it is now is jail time, as he sits in a prison cell in Oregon for allegedly choking his girlfriend during an argument.

According to reports from entertainment news publication TMZ, the 39-year-old was arrested late on Friday 16 October 2020 after his girlfriend, aged 27, alleged the actor gripped her throat with his hands in the middle of a frenzied fight in an apartment in Eugene, Oregon.

The actor and film producer was also accused of not letting his girlfriend dial 911 by taking her phone away from her when she tried to call for help.

Thankfully, neighbours in the building complex who heard the argument unravel called the police.

When officers arrived, they found Mr Bryan sitting outside his apartment and his girlfriend hiding in a friend’s flat nearby.

Police established an arrest report, on basis that Mr Bryan allegedly assaulted the victim and obstructed her breathing.

“An investigation found that during the dispute Bryan is reported to have assaulted the victim, impeded her breathing, and taken the victim’s phone from her when she tried to call 911. The two have been in a relationship,” police wrote.

The woman turned down medical treatment and has not been identified.

Mr Bryan was arrested and charged with strangulation.

He was also charged with interfering with making a report.

Meanwhile, at Lane County Jail where he was taken, the actor grinned for his mug shot.

How Actor Rose to Fame

Other than starring in Home Improvement, which aired from September 1991 to May 1999, Zachery Bryan has also appeared on many other TV shows, including Boston Public, Family Law, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.

In 1999, the Colorado native won Best Performance by a Young Actor in a comedy series at the Young Star Awards for his role in Home Improvement.

At the time, Mr Bryan had said Home Improvement was the “key in the ignition that started the engine”.

“It not only was financially great for me and my family, but it was such a learning experience… I can sit in a meeting with someone twice my age and have close to the same experience,” Mr Bryan had expressed.

I’ve always looked at Home Improvement and my early-age success as an opportunity to learn and be able to eventually put on this [producer’s] cap that I’m wearing now.”

Amongst his television roles, the actor also landed positions in several well-known movies, including Longshot, Slammed and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

In 2007, the actor married Cary Matros, with whom he shares four children.

Last year, he split from his wife of 14 years, announcing the news just last month in a post shared to Instagram – which he later deleted.

Why Strangulation is Considered One of the Most Destructive Forms of Domestic Violence

Strangulation, or choking, has been identified as one of the most destructive forms of domestic violence.

When domestic violence perpetrators strangle their victims, the impacts are staggering.

According to Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D, when we think of strangulation, we tend to associate it with bruises around the neck, fingerprints and scratches.

However, often times, the impacts of strangulation are less obvious and certainly not visible.

Johnston notes that some of the signs of strangulation include hoarseness or a sore throat, inability to swallow or experiencing discomfort doing so, and shortness of breath.

Victims may also potentially experience lapses in their memory, while incontinence – losing control of the bowels or bladder – loss of hearing, and mood changes are also have a tendency to occur.

More worryingly, however, Johnson highlights that batterers engage in strangulation are more likely to commit other acts of violence to their victims.

“Batterers who strangle their victim are more likely to engage in other extreme acts of violence; it’s a message that there are no limits to which he won’t go. The odds are, he’s willing to kill,” she writes.

In NSW, it is against the law to choke, suffocate or strangle another person without their consent.

This is made clear in section 37 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), which prescribes a maximum penalty of five years in jail for the offence – reflecting how seriously the crime is taken.

However, the maximum penalty for the offence is dependent on the circumstances of the choking, suffocation or strangulation.