April 18, 2014

Elyria
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Man held woman in house, choked her, police say

VERMILION — A man was arrested Friday after he reportedly choked his ex-girlfriend and held her against her will inside her home on Woodside Avenue, police said.

Police received a call from the woman at 12:25 a.m. that her ex-boyfriend, Mark Lee, 41, had been at her home and that he had choked her.

Officers arrived at the home to find the blinds drawn and the lights out in the house. No one answered the door after several attempts to contact the woman, according to a police report.

Police said officers had been to the home several times that month — once on Jan. 14, when Lee allegedly punched the woman in the nose, but the woman refused to sign charges, and there were no signs of injury. Lee was arrested Jan. 21 and charged with domestic violence for a separate incident, and he was ordered to have no contact with the woman.

After threatening to kick down the door, officers entered the home Friday and arrested Lee, who was hiding in a closet in the basement. Lee was arrested and charged with domestic violence, obstructing official business, disrupting public service and abduction.

Police spoke with Lee’s ex-girlfriend, who told police she woke up to Lee slapping her across the face. She said he then choked her with a belt, but she managed to escape, running to an upstairs hallway, where Lee tackled her and again choked her until she was unconscious.

She called 911 after regaining consciousness, according to the report, but Lee punched her in the face and told her to hide downstairs.

Police said the woman had a visible red mark around her neck, consistent with a belt being wrapped around her neck. Police said the woman was having trouble breathing, and the house was in disarray, with a phone pulled off the wall and a table flipped over.

Lee was arraigned Tuesday at Vermilion Municipal Court. He will remain in Lorain County Jail until a pretrial hearing set for 2:45 p.m. Feb. 5.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.