An Utqiagvik man faces multiple felony charges for reportedly strangling his seven-month pregnant girlfriend and keeping her from leaving the house or eating for three days. The woman had ligature marks on her neck and multiple bruises and healing injuries on her body, according to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks court Saturday.

Benjiman Tukle, 21, is charged with kidnapping, second-degree assault, third-degree assault and interfering with a domestic violence report.

North Slope Borough police responded to the couple’s home in Utqiagvik at 10:40 a.m. Friday after getting a phone call in which a woman whispered, “I’m in the bathroom, I need help.” They forced entry into a bedroom after hearing the woman screaming, “Stop, don’t, let me go,” according to the complaint. 

Police found Tukle holding the woman down in a bed. He refused commands to roll onto his stomach and put his hands behind his back, but was handcuffed after police used open hand techniques to subdue him.

Tukle’s girlfriend told police she had been held against her will at the house and not allowed to eat, leave or use the phone for the past three days, according to the complaint. She said she’d been trying to get to Samuel Simmons Memorial Hospital in Utqiagvik for treatment for herself and her unborn child.

During transport to the hospital, the woman told police that Tukle wouldn’t let her eat because he wasn’t hungry, and he would hold her down every time she tried to leave for the hospital. She said Tukle assaulted her the night before because he didn’t have any cigarettes or dabs, according to the complaint. Dabs are highly concentrated doses of cannabis.

The woman told hospital staff that Tukle slapped her stomach and choked, strangled and suffocated her. She reported pain in her stomach and legs and was moved to labor and delivery for further examination, according to the complaint. 

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.

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