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A 28-year-old Billings man is accused of kidnapping a Helena woman and forcing her to drive toward Billings with a knife to her throat.

Thomas James Lucero is charged with felony counts of aggravated kidnapping and assault with a weapon.

On Jan. 29, after a night of drinking, the victim confronted Lucero in her home in Helena as he was being loud. Lucero became enraged and allegedly slashed the victim multiple times with knives, at one point holding a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her. The assaults lasted for over five hours, according to court documents, until Lucero told the victim she was going to drive him to Billings.

While passing through Townsend, the woman said Lucero began falling asleep, but when she slowed her car down, he would wake up and threaten to kill her again. The victim then would swerve toward oncoming traffic, flashing the lights, hoping someone would call law enforcement.

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Broadwater County Sheriff's deputies responded and called for an agency assist from Gallatin County deputies, who eventually deployed spike strips in order to stop the car. When it was disabled, the victim then ran toward law enforcement. The woman did not stop until multiple law enforcement officials were in the area as she was afraid one would not be enough to protect her from Lucero.

Lucero was arrested and taken into custody at the Gallatin County Detention Center without bond.

All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty

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Crime and Health Reporter

Crime and health reporter for the Helena Independent Record.

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