Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Monday

August 12, 2013

Police: Man imprisoned, assaulted girlfriend

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man with a history of domestic violence convictions was arrested after authorities say he imprisoned his girlfriend inside a Woodmere Avenue business.

The suspect, 21, was arrested Sunday on charges of torture, unlawful imprisonment, a third domestic violence offense and resisting and obstructing police officers. Two witnesses saw him chase an 18-year-old female down in the parking lot of Paul's Appliance Service, tackle her and drag her inside.

"She was trying to get away from him," said Traverse City Police Capt. Brian Heffner. "They had a past dating relationship."

City police arrived and saw the suspect inside the business, but he refused to let officers inside the building. Officers knocked down the front door of the business and said the suspect fought their attempts to restrain him. The suspect gave up the fight after a police dog bit him in the upper thigh.

The victim was found covered by a blanket in the back room of the business. Heffner said the torture charge stemmed from the "assault inflicted on her when she was in the business."

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said no charges were officially filed in 86th District Court as of Monday. He said he was conducting further review of the request for false imprisonment and torture charges. He said torture is defined as an intent to cause cruel or extreme physical or mental pain and suffering.

"I think that with torture, there's a sadistic element to that," he said. "The assault can be any minor touching if it was done against the other person's will."

The store is owned by the suspect's father, who did not return a call for comment.

The suspect was treated at Munson Medical Center for the dog bite and transported to Grand Traverse County jail. The victim was also taken to Munson for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

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