On the morning of Tuesday Jan. 29, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy McDonough, and other law enforcement, arrested Thomas James Lucero on charges of aggravated kidnapping as well as assault with a weapon.

The victim, a woman who was in an intimate relationship with him at the time, stated the assault began at a residence on the night of Monday January 28, at 2 a.m. in Helena, Montana.

The woman says she heard loud music and noise in the living room, and when she confronted Lucero, who had been drinking alcohol, he became enraged and physically assaulted her; kicking, punching and slashing at her with multiple knives.

Furthermore, the woman states that Lucero sexually assaulted her, holding a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her.

The assaults lasted until 7:30 a.m., when Lucero demanded that the victim drive him to Billings, walking her to the vehicle with the knife at her throat.

The pair began driving on Highway 287 toward Broadwater County, and any attempt at slowing down the vehicle was reportedly met with threats on her life. The woman began to occasionally swerve towards oncoming traffic while flashing her lights hoping that somebody would contact authorities.

An individual eventually notified law enforcement, and around 9:30 a.m., Gallatin County Sheriff's Deputy McDonough attempted to stop the vehicle.

When the vehicle failed to stop, a pursuit ensued, requiring the use of spike strips to slow the vehicle after the chase has reached I-90.

The woman stopped and immediately exited the vehicle, running towards authorities for safety.

She stated that she did not initially stop because she did not believe one person was enough to protect her from Lucero.

Once in custody, Lucero spoke without an attorney, admitting their relationship, to consuming alcohol the night prior and to the altercation with the victim over the noise.

He also admitted the victim was cut by one of the knives in his possession as well as the location of other knives used, one being in the vehicle.

With bloodstains on Lucero’s pants and shoes, and the evidence Helena detectives located at the victim’s residence, Helena Police concur the victim’s statements are consistent.

Thomas James Lucero is being held at the Gallatin County Detention Center on $250,000 bail.

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