Spicer man facing additional charges for retaliation against witness
WILLMAR, Minn. -- A woman who drove by the scene of a violent domestic assault in Spicer, Minn., and drove the alleged victim and children to safety says she received death threats from a blocked phone number the next day.
WILLMAR, Minn. - A woman who drove by the scene of a violent domestic assault in Spicer, Minn., and drove the alleged victim and children to safety says she received death threats from a blocked phone number the next day.
Law enforcement officers believe the caller was Darren Gregory Melges, of Spicer, the defendant in the domestic assault.
On Wednesday, law enforcement filed four additional felony charges in Kandiyohi County District Court against Melges for first-degree tampering with a witness and threats of violence.
Melges, 44, was jailed Oct. 17, facing multiple charges for the Oct. 12 domestic assault, which reportedly left a woman with facial bruises, marks and abrasions, a black eye and red marks around her neck.
He was charged Oct. 19 with felony kidnapping, second-degree assault, domestic assault by strangulation, gross misdemeanor domestic assault and misdemeanor reckless driving charges.
According to the criminal complaint on those charges, Melges had been angry when he picked a woman up from work, accusing her of lying about her whereabouts.
He allegedly repeatedly hit the woman, grabbed her throat multiple times with his hands and once with an extension cord, and squeezed her so she could not breathe.
The woman told police she had tried to escape several times, pleading with him to let her leave, but he continued to knock her down or hit her on the side of the head, once attempting to burn her with a cigarette.
Eventually, she escaped outside with her children, which is when the witness found her on the side of the road, bloody-faced with three children in tow.
The witness stopped her vehicle, and the woman and children climbed inside.
But before they could leave, Melges reportedly chased them down with his pickup truck, blocking the car from leaving and yelling expletives out the window.
She was able to drive away. But the witness later told police she "didn't know what she was getting herself into" when she helped the woman and children.
When she drove back in the same area after dropping the woman and children off in a safe place, the man was back, yelling expletives at her vehicle.
The witness received the threatening phone call the next day, from a man who said he would kill her and hurt her family.
The witness later told officers she would not feel safe in her home until Melges was in custody. A warrant was issued Oct. 14 for his arrest, but he was not apprehended until days later.
Melges is currently in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail on $150,000 bail.