CINCINNATI — Nathaniel Bickel is being held on a $400,000 bond as he awaits his next court hearing.
Bickel is charged with domestic violence, inducing panic and two misdemeanor counts of assault after police said a Sunday attack on his girlfriend and landlord escalated into an hourslong SWAT standoff in Westwood — and a fire that displaced more than a dozen other tenants.
“The apartment complex had to be evacuated,” said assistant prosecutor David Wood during Bickel’s arraignment Tuesday.
Landlord Gary Teetor said he had been restoring one of the downstairs apartments when Bickel’s girlfriend sprinted down the stairs in a panic, he said. Bickel followed her.
According to Teetor’s recollection and a pair of victim statements filed in Hamilton County court, Bickel began to choke her and spray her with Mace.
He turned the Mace on Teetor when he tried to intervene, fellow resident Glenn Kuhlman said. The altercation between the men became a physical scuffle — Bickel bit Teetor, hit him with a mop handle, ran back to his own apartment and locked the door.
“Police could hear items being shoved against the door, the doors being locked,” Wood said.
Near the end of the standoff, police threw a flash-bang grenade that produced a boom loud enough to reverberate throughout the building. Kuhlman said he believed that started the fire that gutted the third floor and rendered the other two uninhabitable with smoke and water damage.
Bickel was arrested trying to flee the scene. The 44-year-old has five felony convictions, prosecutors said.
“He’s been arrested for domestic violence more times than I can quickly count,” Wood said.
The case against Bickel is scheduled to go before a grand jury March 13.