In a dark, wooded area off Alexis Road in North Toledo, Tamesha Gott begged for her life. She prayed to God as the barrel of a small, silver handgun was pressed against her head.
This time, her life was spared.
"I just think it wasn't my time to go," Ms. Gott said yesterday.
The 23-year-old's former boyfriend, with whom she has a 6-week-old son, is accused of threatening to kill her Saturday after forcing her into a car as she left a nightclub, police said.
Deon A. Brown, 29, of 6918 Oak Field Drive, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment yesterday in Toledo Municipal Court to misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, assault, and unlawful restraint.
He is to be arraigned today on a felony domestic violence charge related to the case, court records show. Brown remains in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
According to municipal court records, Brown has been charged with domestic violence 16 times in the past, was convicted twice, and has spent little time in jail. More than half the cases were dismissed as a result of victims not appearing in court.
In 2002 and 2003, Brown was found guilty of beating and threatening to kill two women with whom he has children.
A judge placed him on electronic monitoring for 30 days in the 2002 case.
His second domestic violence conviction landed him in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, for 30 days. He also was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to attend anger management classes, court records show.
Most recently, Brown was charged with threatening and beating Ms. Gott, whom he dated for about six months in 2007, she said.
About 3:15 a.m. Saturday, as Ms. Gott and her two cousins were leaving a nightclub on Phillips Avenue, Brown approached in a car, police said.
He is accused of grabbing, beating, and threatening to kill Ms. Gott as she ran to her cousin's car. Several witnesses tried to help, but Brown forced Ms. Gott into the car and drove to a park off Alexis, police said.
There, he began hitting her on the head and body, kneeled on her throat, and again threatened to kill her after putting a gun to her head, police said.
According to a report, Brown made several phone calls to a man, asking him to bring him sheets because "he did not want to get blood in his car."
Ms. Gott told police Brown grabbed a pillow from the back seat and tried to smother her. She repeatedly asked to be taken home, promising not to call police, a report said.
Brown drove to several hotels, but took Ms. Gott to her central Toledo home after he couldn't find an available room, a report said. He followed her inside, police said.
When Brown fell asleep, Ms. Gott snuck out of the bedroom and ran to nearby St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center for help, police said.
Ms. Gott is listed as a victim in at least three previous domestic violence cases filed against Brown. Each time, the charges were dismissed after she failed to appear in court, records show.
Toledo police Detective Gene Kutz, of the special victims unit, said victims of domestic violence often don't follow through with prosecution. Some fear for their life, he said; others are in love with their abuser.
"It runs that whole emotional gamut of extremes," the detective said. "I'm scared of him, but I still really love him."
Ms. Gott said she promised God she would follow through with the charges, "if He let me see another day."
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