CINCINNATI — It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed in a confrontation with the tractor-trailer driver charged with holding his wife hostage on Interstates 275 and 71 over the weekend, his ex-girlfriend told WCPO 9.
“He’s been in this situation so many times, it’s a recurring event for him… ” said Alexsis Thompson. “I don’t feel like it’s going to stop now until someone is dead.”
Thompson, mother of Patrick Berthelot’s two children, said Berthelot phoned her from his rig Saturday as he terrorized his wife and kept the Ohio State Highway Patrol and police at bay for hours by driving erratically and veering toward them on the interstates.
“I’m hearing her yell and scream, ‘Call the police! Call the police!’” Thompson said.
“Instantly my whole body went numb. It just went numb.”
Thompson said Berthelot wanted her to tell his wife he wasn’t cheating on her. But Thompson didn’t know where the couple was, so she was not able to call 911.
Thompson said Berthelot’s history of domestic violence has her living in fear every day.
“I've basically just been honestly waiting to kind of die, honestly, because that’s how I feel,” Thompson said.
Berthelot is behind bars on $275,000 bond, charged with kidnapping after leading police on a chase through Butler and Hamilton counties. But Thompson says the only thing that will make her feel safe at this point is knowing Berthelot is behind bars for good.
So far, Berthelot has avoided long stretches in prison even though he has a rap sheet from multiple states, including Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.
In 2019, he was indicted in Georgia for aggravated assault and assault against his present wife.
In 2012 he was charged with attempted murder in Alabama against a different girlfriend. After prosecutors dismissed the attempted murder charge, Berthelot pleaded guilty to domestic violence and was sentenced to probation.
For Thompson, the cycle never seems to end.
“What is it going to take to stop him? I really just don’t understand,” Thompson said.
At one point Saturday, Berthelot told 911 he wasn’t going to let police take him alive.
“I already know how this is going to end… I’m not going down without a fight. The police are going to have to kill me,” Berthelot said.
But a SWAT sharpshooter shot up his engine block, disabling his truck as he roared past at high speed. Berthelot then held himself at knifepoint, and police fired nonlethal rounds and used a stun gun to take him into custody.
“How is he able to continuously go home about his life as if it’s nothing?” Thompson said. “How he is able to continuously get out and still be able to live comfortably after doing all this stuff? It is really a major problem. I no longer want to live my life having to look over my shoulder everywhere I go.”
In court Monday, the state said it expects more charges to be filed by other agencies involved.