After he was found in a Pleasant Prairie hotel room with a woman he was barred from seeing by a court order, a Kenosha man attempted to escape police through a window.
Nicholas Mercier, 34, was out on bond after being charged Aug. 19 for substantial battery-domestic abuse, alleged to have broken a 29-year-old woman’s arm. As part of his bond conditions, he was not allowed to see or contact the woman.
He had been convicted in 2014 of another incident involving the same woman, in that incident injuring her when he drove away as she attempted to get into his vehicle, leaving her injured on the road.
Her family reported the woman missing earlier this week, telling law enforcement they believed she may be with Mercier. Her missing status was widely shared on social media.
According to the criminal complaint, Pleasant Prairie Police were called to the Holiday Inn Express, 7887-94th Ave. for a report that a missing person may be there with Mercier. The complaint states that Mercier refused to open his hotel room door, then blocked access to the door when officers used a key from hotel staff. He is then alleged to have attempted to break out a window to leave the room, damaging the window.
“Officers on the scene breached the door of the hotel room” and took Mercier into custody, the complaint states. The woman was also in the room, initially hiding from police in a bathroom. She was taken into custody as well, held at Kenosha County Jail for a probation violation.
Mercier was charged Wednesday with two counts of bail jumping for violating his bond conditions by seeing the woman, and with criminal damage to property for damaging the window.
At Mercier’s initial appearance on a bail jumping charge Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Carli McNeill asked for a $75,000 bond, saying Mercier had disregarded the orders of the court and saying that there was concern for the safety of the woman involved.
Defense attorney Kristyne Watson was critical of the bond demand, saying it was unprecedented for the charges and indicating the state was motivated by what she called “a public smear campaign.” She asked for a $3,000 bond.
Court Commissioner Larry Keating set Mercier’s bond for the new charge at $15,000, - substantial for the charges. The commissioner told Mercier that at his previous court appearance he clearly explained he was not allowed to have any contact with the woman and Mercier told him he understood those conditions. “It appears like a conscious disregard of a court order, nothing short,” Keating said.
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