Overreaction to a playful gesture during preparation of a Thanksgiving meal resulted in a man being charged with unlawful restraint and a felony charge of domestic violence involving his pregnant girlfriend.
Police were called to a residence in the 100 block of East Sycamore Street at 4:04 p.m. on Nov. 24.
The first officer to arrive was met in the common area of the apartment complex by a 20-year-old man who said he knew why the officer had responded and wanted to speak first but the officer met with the 18-year-old girlfriend inside the apartment. Also on hand was a male friend of his who was identified as the primary resident of the apartment.
The woman told the officer she and him had been preparing a Thanksgiving meal when he accidentally nearly closed the oven door on her arm. She said she knew it was not intentional and playfully threw an over mitt at him. He took offense at this, however, and forcefully threw the mitt back at her, followed by an argument.
She told the officer the argument escalated and he shoved her against a wall, causing minor pain. She said she then began gathering her things in order to leave the apartment but he continually grabbed things out of her hands and told her she was not allowed to leave, going so far as to putting her into a bear hug to prevent her leaving.
The officer was told she was 26 weeks pregnant with his child and they had been living together at the residence for two weeks after having been homeless and moving in with his friend.
She told the officer he had been violent with her numerous times in the past including slapping and punching her and once causing a black eye. She said two months ago, he had placed his arm around her neck and choked her.
The primary resident of the apartment said he did not see the entire altercation but did say her tossing the oven mitt at him appeared playful. He had left the room and when he returned, he said he saw him holding the woman and not letting her go and taking the bag out of her hands.
He reportedly told the officer he had overreacted to her throwing the oven mitt at him but said he did not recall shoving her. He confirmed the woman was carrying his child.
He was taken into custody and taken to the police station, where he was charged with unlawful restraint and domestic violence which escalated to a fifth-degree felony because he was aware she was pregnant. He was taken to the Butler County Jail.
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