MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 22-year-old St. Paul man faces charges of domestic abuse after he allegedly slashed his girlfriend’s leg with a knife in front of their 1-year-old son.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Leon Antonio Kirk with one count of felony domestic assault and one count of theft, according to charges filed Friday. If convicted of both charges, Kirk could serve up to 10 years in prison and/or have to pay a fine of up to $20,000.
The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred on March 5, according to a criminal complaint. On that evening, shortly after 7 p.m., the victim called 911 from her home on Charles Avenue in St. Paul. The victim told police that Kirk attacked her and cut her leg with a knife before her two young children – one of which Kirk fathered.
The victim said Kirk entered her home, took her phone and began to argue with her about what was on her phone and Facebook. The victim said she demanded her phone back, at which point Kirk began to scream at her, the complaint said.
Watching this scene made the couple’s son scream, “No!”
Just when the victim turned her back, Kirk bear-hugged her from behind. He wrapped the victim so tightly that she could not get away. The victim told Kirk to leave, and said she’d get a restraining order against him.
“That’s gonna make problems worser,” Kirk said, according to the complaint. “I’m gonna make your kids lose everything.”
Still holding her, Kirk bent the victim into a crouching position in the hallway, and became quiet. He then released the victim and fled the home, still possessing the victim’s phone.
Only after Kirk left did the victim realize she’d been cut, the complaint said. The victim thought the wound was the product of a small kitchen knife with a black handle. However, no such weapon was found.
Kirk is scheduled to make his first appearance in court Friday afternoon.
The victim said she had dated Kirk for eight or nine years and that their relationship was punctuated by physical abuse, which often took place before her children. In February, the victim said Kirk head-butted her, giving her two black eyes. Since that episode, she said she’s been strangled, which resulted in subsequent feelings of fear and even anxiety attacks. She also said Kirk threatened to hurt her if she called police.
The victim also said that when she was pregnant with Kirk’s child, he would assault her daily. These assaults allegedly occurred before Kirk served 18 months in prison.
Kirk has a history of domestic abuse charges, all of which stem from 2010. During that year, he plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, one felony count of domestic assault by strangulation, one felony count of violating a protection order, and two felony counts of violating a no contact order.
Kirk served 19 months in prison as a result of the felony strangulation charge.
John Choi, the Ramsey County Attorney, said his office will aggressively pursue Kirk’s case.