A Rome man, on the lam since last weekend when he allegedly attempted to strangle his girlfriend with a shoelace and threatened her teenage daughter with a knife, was behind bars Thursday.

Ronald Willey, 28, was arrested Thursday afternoon in Augusta by detectives from the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department. Willey was charged with domestic violence assault, aggravated assault and terrorizing.

Willey was being held Thursday at the Kennebec County jail. A bail amount was not immediately available.

He will likely make his first court appearance today.

Capt. Daniel Davies of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department said Willey was arrested without incident.

“He found out we were looking for him,” Davies said. Davies said he contacted the detective and made arrangements to turn himself in, and “we went and picked him up.”

Police had been seeking Willey since Sunday when he allegedly tried to strangle his girlfriend inside their Rome home. Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Day responded to the domestic violence complaint at Cher Simon’s Watson Road home around 11 a.m.

“She had visible signs of injury consistent with an assault,” Davies said. “Simon reluctantly identified her boyfriend, Ronald Willey, as her attacker.”

Simon said she had been knocked unconscious when Willey wrapped a shoelace around her neck during the attack, Davies said.

He said Willey allegedly threatened Simon and her 13-year-old daughter with a knife and then fled.

Simon went to a local hospital after the attack, but left before emergency room doctors could evaluate her and didn’t disclose the name of her attacker, Davies said.

Neither Simon nor her daughter suffered permanent injuries.

Police had been unable to find Willey until he called the Sheriff’s Department Thursday seeking to turn himself in.

Willey was released from the Maine State Prison in May after serving a 34-month term imposed after he pleaded guilty in March 2009 to criminal threatening, assault, negotiating a worthless instrument and violating conditions of release.

Willey also was fined $300 and ordered to pay $238 in restitution.

Several charges were dismissed before sentencing.

Willey had been in jail since December 2008 when a Kennebec County Superior Court grand jury indicted him on charges of kidnapping, gross sexual assault, robbery, burglary, theft, assault, aggravated criminal trespass, two counts of domestic violence assault and three counts of criminal threatening, all of which occurred over a 12-day span in October 2008 in Farmingdale, Augusta and West Gardiner.

Published reports show several other indictments and convictions against Willey stemming back to 2002.

Craig Crosby–621-5642

[email protected]

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