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Strangling leads to attempted murder arrest

by: Contributed photo Aaron Ray Rice

A Gresham man strangled his ex-girlfriend with a shoelace in front of her children, stopping only when the woman managed to stab him in the face, according to court documents.

Aaron Ray Rice, 28, is being held on $510,000 bail at the Multnomah County Detention Center on allegations of attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and coercion - all classified as domestic violence crimes.

The victim, who is his live-in girlfriend and the mother of his child, told police that they recently separated and that Rice came over to her apartment near Northeast 162nd Avenue and East Burnside Street at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, arguing about the break-up.

The woman, still wearing her pajamas, walked to her mother's apartment to get away from Rice, but he followed her. When Rice saw that the woman's mother was not home, he reportedly picked up a knife and physically forced the woman at knifepoint back to her home. All the while, he told her, 'If I see the police I'll cut you up,' according to a probable cause affidavit.

Once back at the woman's home, he grabbed a shoelace and allegedly chocked her with it while telling her she was going to die.

The noise woke her children, who came downstairs and saw the attack.

At some point, Rice reportedly put the knife down in front of the woman and told her she would have to kill him or die. So she picked up the knife 'while still being strangled from behind and began stabbing,' reads the affidavit.

Rice suddenly let go and the woman saw that she'd stabbed him in the face. While he fled the apartment, the woman used the knife to cut the shoelace from her throat and ran to a neighbor's house for help.

Officers found Rice hiding in a nearby apartment with an apparent stab wound to his face. Gresham police also noted ligature marks on the woman's throat and reported finding cut pieces of a shoelace in her home.

Rice was arraigned Thursday, Dec. 22, on charges of attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, strangulation, fourth-degree assault, harassment, menacing and unlawful use of a weapon.