They came in through the bathroom window.
The Columbus police officers called to a domestic dispute early Wednesday could not go through the front door, to rescue the victim who’d locked herself and her daughter in the bathroom, nor to arrest the boyfriend she said choked her and slapped the 8-year-old before threatening them with a knife.
So, they used the bathroom window.
Testifying Thursday in Columbus Recorder’s Court, Officer Chris Whitehead said no one answered the door when he arrived at the Quail Creek Drive home around midnight. The 911 center had to do a call-back on the number reporting the dispute to figure out what was going on.
It turned out the initial call came from the mother of the woman who’d locked herself in the bathroom. She drove up while officers were outside, Whitehead said.
The victim said her boyfriend, later identified as 29-year-old Quentin Jermaine Holsey, had threatened to kill her with a knife he got from the kitchen, so she was not going to open the bathroom door.
She had tried to escape through the window, but couldn’t get it open all the way. So her mother got a screwdriver to pry it, and the officers got the woman and her daughter out, Whitehead said.
Having got the victims out, the police then had to get in, to arrest Holsey. The woman did not have a key to the front door, and the officers did not want to damage it by kicking it in. So, they went in through the bathroom window.
They called for Holsey, who was hiding somewhere in the back and eventually surrendered, Whitehead said. They did not find a knife, he said.
Police charged Holsey with making terroristic threats, false imprisonment, third-degree cruelty to children and two counts of simple battery.
But one of those charges was changed after Whitehead outlined the case in court.
The victim had reported she and Holsey had an argument about their relationship, and he started choking her. When her daughter tried to stop him, he slapped her across the face, the woman said.
Whitehead said police saw no visible injuries on the woman, but the daughter had redness and swelling on the right side of her cheek.
Judge Julius Hunter and prosecutor Matt Brown began to re-evaluate the circumstances.
For allegedly slapping the little girl, Holsey had been charged with simple battery, a misdemeanor. Police charged him with third-degree child cruelty because the girl reportedly witnessed the assault on her mother.
Hunter wanted to know whether the child had suffered mental anguish, which could constitute the felony offense of first-degree cruelty to children.
“She looked scared,” Whitehead said. “She looked fearful.”
Brown thought Holsey could be charged both with first- and third-degree child cruelty, positing that slapping the girl and assaulting her mother in front of her were two separate offenses.
He persuaded Hunter instead to change one of the two simple battery counts to battery with visible harm. That’s also a misdemeanor, Brown said, but because it involves family violence, a second battery offense under the law would be a felony, were Holsey to assault the woman or her daughter again.
With that resolved, Brown asked the woman if she wanted to testify.
She said she wanted to dismiss the case.
Hunter flatly refused, noting a child was involved: “This child has no say in what’s happening to her,” he said. If the allegations are accurate, the girl likely will never forget what she experienced, he added.