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Chase Mills man charged with choking out ex-girlfriend

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STRANGULATION - CANTON - St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies charged Aaron L. Maslin Sr., 25, of 513 County Route 44, Chase Mills, with second-degree strangulation, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

He was arraigned by Potsdam Village Justice Nicholas Pignone and released under the supervision of the probation department. The court order also issued a temporary order of protection directing him to stay away from Melissa M. Pitts and the couple’s three children.

He reportedly blocked the nose and mouth until Melissa M. Pitts’ passed out during a domestic dispute Aug. 13 on 513 County Route 44 in the town of Madrid. He reportedly pulled her out of her vehicle and forced her to the ground during an argument in front of the couple’s three children.

Ms. Pitts, 24, of Norfolk noted in her statement to police that she had gone to her ex-boyfriend’s house to pick up her truck after they had visited his family at the Coles Creek campground. She said an argument broke out when she was putting the car seats in her vehicle and preparing to leave. She said Maslin approached the vehicle, demanding to talk. She said she had split up with Maslin on July 12.

Ms. Pitts said the argument escalated when she told Maslin if he was going to talk he needed to hurry up because she needed to get the children home to bed. She said he prevented her from putting the key into her truck’s ignition and as the argument escalated Maslin ripped her out of the truck and dragged her into the yard.

“He pushed me down onto the ground and flipped me over onto my back and hit my head off the ground. He then held me down with his hand over my mouth and his other hand plugging my nose, and he was telling me he was going to kill me four times ... I had no energy left, and I couldn’t breathe or move, and my eyes closed, and I blacked out,” Ms. Pitts said in her statement.

She told deputies she didn’t know how long she was unconscious but said when she came to she was gasping for air and her throat felt like it was closed. She said she then heard Mr. Maslin call for his father to take his children inside.

“He kept saying he was going to kill me... He wrapped my hair up in his hands and yanked back really hard and had his other hand on my neck, and he was walking me further back into his yard. He told me he was going to drown me,” she said, noting he was walking her back toward a pool.

Ms. Pitts said he then threw her to the ground and wouldn’t let her leave but stopped assaulting her. He said he eventually went inside the residence in an effort to avoid suffering any more physical abuse.

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