A West Ashley man was arrested early Monday morning after his girlfriend said he beat her bloody after she woke him up.

Ricky Simmons, 51, of Balsam Street is charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

A woman called Charleston police from a pay phone at the Hess station at 2245 Savannah Highway about 12:30 a.m. Monday, according to an incident report. Officers noted that she had blood all over her shirt and face and swelling above both eyes.

She told officers that her boyfriend beat her up in a hotel room at Inn Town Suites after she woke him up while looking for a cigarette. She told officers they had been living together for five years and had been arguing that day because he wanted to leave her and live with another woman.

Simmons told officers he woke up to find his girlfriend going through his belongings and she lashed out at him when he questioned her and started throwing things at him.

Simmons’ criminal record includes multiple convictions for shoplifting and writing bad checks, according to Charleston County court records.

A previous charge of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature in 2009 was dropped after the victim failed to cooperate.

Simmons was being held in the Charleston County jail Monday on $20,000 bail.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.