David Nazari-Cohen

David Nazari-Cohen, 33, appears via video Wednesday in Gallatin County Justice Court.

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A Bozeman man has pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping for a July incident in which he refused to let a woman leave a car by threatening to kill her if she didn’t obey him.

David Nazari-Cohen, 33, changed his plea to the felony on Friday before Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown as part of a plea agreement. He also pleaded no contest to strangulation, a felony, and guilty to partner assault, a misdemeanor.

Deputy county attorney Bradley Bowen recommended Nazari-Cohen serve 10 years in prison for aggravated kidnapping followed by five years suspended for strangulation. Bowen also recommended that for partner assault, Nazari-Cohen serve one year in jail, which would be suspended and would be concurrent to his other two sentences.

Nazari-Cohen can argue for less at his sentencing, which is set for February.

“I was under the influence of alcohol. I was angry. Essentially, I threw a tantrum,” Nazari-Cohen said. “… I’m not proud of this. I’m deeply ashamed.”

On July 16, Nazari-Cohen showed up to North Hanley Avenue looking for a woman who he hadn’t been able to reach by phone, according to court documents. When he arrived, the woman was inside a locked car. He punched out a window, unlocked the car and got inside. The car then drove off quickly.

About 20 minutes later, police saw the car return to the area with Nazari-Cohen driving. He turned down a side street when he saw officers. Police eventually stopped the car at Ferguson Avenue and Babcock Street. The woman jumped out.

The woman later told officers that once Nazari-Cohen had forced himself into her car, he had ordered her to drive to a secluded area while threatening to kill or kidnap her. He mentioned he had a firearm he would shoot her with, court documents said. He also grabbed her hair, pushed her face into the side of the car and punched her a few times.

She eventually parked the car, and Nazari-Cohen forced her into the passenger seat, according to court documents. He then drove back toward North Hanley Avenue, saying he was going to get duct tape to kidnap her.

In court on Friday, Nazari-Cohen said he was angry with the woman because she hadn’t returned his phone calls and because he was stressed from work. He added that he hadn’t intended to hurt or abduct the woman.

“This isn’t like me,” he said. “… I’m not a harm.”

The woman told officers she believed Nazari-Cohen’s threats because he had said similar things in the past, such as that he would tape her hands, feet and mouth and take her to California, according to court documents.

She also said he had choked her when he was angry at least twice in the days before the alleged kidnapping.

Nazari-Cohen has been in jail since his arrest in July.

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Perrin Stein can be reached at pstein@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2648.

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