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Gratefull for advice...Pepper Spray
“I really did not expect any trouble. Thank goodness my friend did.”
Those were the words of 35-year-old Jim Tucker, who narrowly avoided being stabbed by 40-year-old Marianne Tucker, his wife of six years, whom he is in the process of divorcing.
Jim left his wife after years of verbal abuse and being forced to do physical labor around the apartment that his disability made him incapable of performing without great pain, he told this reporter, in addition to drug and alcohol abuse. This while his wife Marianne sat around and did nothing, expecting Jim to wait on her hand and foot. She even demanded that he walk her two medically-prescribed “companion dogs,” in contravention of all rules for companion dog owners. Jim’s best friend, Jonathan Baker, got him to stand up for himself and, when that did not affect a change in the situation, helped him move out. Jim is now staying with Baker.
Despite the problems, Jim felt it was important to get together with Marianne to see if they could not reconcile enough to at least be civil when they saw each other in church, and to iron out details of the divorce. So, against Baker’s advice, Jim went back over to his former residence to have a private dinner with his wife.
“I told him it was a bad idea,” Baker said. “I said, ‘She’s dead set that she wants you back, and she as much as told me the last time she called that if she could not have you, no one would.’” Baker said she even implied that the two were gay lovers and that Baker had broken up their marriage so he could have Jim all to himself. Their friends say this is nonsense, since the both of them have a serious eye for the ladies.
“If he was dead set on going,” Baker continued, “then I told him he should be prepared for a problem.” Baker sent along a digital recorder and a small can of pepper spray, secreted in pockets of Jim’s vest. This way, Baker suggested, there would be both an audio record of what went on and some insurance in case Marianne tried anything.
The evening started off well. It was the day after Christmas, and Marianne plied him with wine and gifts the minute Jim walked through the door. The gifts included a scarf she had promised to knit for Jim – a promise made shortly after they had gotten married, and not followed through on until after he’d moved out in late October. She served a sumptuous meal of Jim’s favorite lasagna, crusty garlic bread, Caesar salad, piping hot Minestrone soup… and an appeal for Jim to “just come home” over the homemade tiramisu for dessert.
When Jim said, flatly, no, because she’d admitted that she was not in a drug and alcohol treatment program as she’d promised before he’d even consider coming back, Marianne reached into the kitchen drawer behind her chair in the dining nook and pulled out a butcher knife. Jim deflected her slash at his heart, getting his arm slashed instead, and grabbed for the pepper spray. He gave Marianne a dose of the chemical, jumped back, and ran for the door. He ran out into the parking lot, calling 911 on his cell phone on the way.
At this moment, Baker drove up in his van, it being the agreed-upon time for him to pick Jim up. Marianne, still coughing and wheezing from her dose of pepper spray, ran out into the parking lot, waving her butcher knife and shouting. Baker put the van in gear and started to drive away… when the police arrived.
Five minutes later, Marianne was in handcuffs being driven away in the squad car, and Baker was taking Jim to the hospital. “I do not know what I would’ve done without that pepper spray, and Jon’s advice to be careful,” Jim said. “I’m truly grateful for his help, and God for providing good friends to look out for me.”
Marianne Tucker was booked into Fraleigh County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon and her trial is scheduled to begin on May 13. The divorce Jim Tucker filed becomes final May 21.
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