A television repair man in Colorado is facing felony charges after a customer claimed that he hugged her so tightly she feared her life may be in danger.
While speaking with KDVR-TV, 70-year-old Karen Loest said that David Novinski, a 34-year-old DISH Network subcontractor, gave her a "bear hug" and pinned her arms and chest painfully while she was walking him out. This was just after he completed his work earlier this month.
Loest was afraid she could be raped or even worse.
"I walked over to see him out, and he proceeded to turn and put me in a bear hug," Loest, who is also a former sheriff's deputy, said.
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'At that point, I didn't know whether I was going to be raped… thrown down on the floor,' she said. 'He had me pinned — my arms and chest — and it hurt.'
She said she pushed him away and told him to leave. He then waited awhile and apologized before leaving.
'He scared me,' she said. 'I didn't sleep for two or three days after that and I'm still not sleeping well. He knows where I live.'
Novinski is charged with trespassing and causing bodily injury to an at-risk adult.
His attorney, Mike McCullough, said Novinski often hugs people that he does work for.
'Frankly, this is one of the strangest cases I've ever seen,' said Novinski's defense attorney, Mike McCullough, of the Reisch Law Firm. 'Upon leaving, he gave her a three-second hug and then he left.'
When Loest called Novinski's boss, she did not report any injuries.
As a result of the complain, Novinski is unemployed before there was even an investigation. There has also been a protective order issued to keep Novinski from Loest.
DISH released the following statement:
'We take the safety and security of our community very seriously. We are investigating the allegations regarding this individual who is an employee of an independent third party and not of DISH. This individual is no longer assigned to any DISH jobs. We remain in contact with the independent third party contractor and our customer.'