Dowagiac man gets prison time for unlawful imprisonment of girlfriend

Published 1:35 pm Friday, September 16, 2022

CASSOPOLIS – An Dowagiac resident who held his girlfriend in his home against her will was sentenced to a year in the county jail Friday in Cass County Circuit Court. 

Angel Cruz-Ocasi, 27, formerly of Dunkirk, New York and now of Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment and was sentenced to 365 days in jail with credit for 223 days already served. He must pay $1,608 in fines and costs. 

The incident occurred Feb. 5 at a home on Townhall Road in Dowagiac. Cruz-Ocasi pulled a gun on his girlfriend and held her against her will, Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said.  

Judge Herman said that the woman told police that Cruz-Ocasi was forcing her to stay at the home. Police found a gun, ammunition, a large knife in the home and a large knife and brass knuckles in a motor vehicle. 

“You have three children, one in New York, one in Florida and one here,” the judge said. “If your children are important to you, you must start acting like a father and a man. A good man doesn’t have to threaten a woman to make her stay. If he treats her with respect, she will stay on her own.” 

The judge noted that the defendant’s guidelines called for a minimum of three years in prison and that he should thank his attorney and the prosecutor’s office for agreeing to a lower sentence