Suspect gets stuck in ceiling of Gilbert home

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Stephen Joseph Nowak By Jennifer Thomas Stephen Joseph Nowak By Jennifer Thomas

GILBERT, Ariz. -- A domestic violence suspect got stuck in the ceiling of his Gilbert home while trying to escape from police officers early Monday morning.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., Gilbert police were called to a home near Gilbert and Guadalupe roads where a woman was heard yelling, "Please help" and "Please no."

A witness reported hearing the sound of things banging and being thrown around, according to Gilbert police Lt. Hugh White.

The female victim said that her boyfriend, Stephen Joseph Nowak, 33, had damaged the home and then retreated into the attic when officers arrived.

White said Nowak refused to leave the attic so officers released pepper spray. Nowak began punching the drywall ceiling to break through to the bedroom below him.

Nowak managed to get halfway through before getting stuck. Gilbert firefighters were called in to help rescue him.

Nowak was arrested and transported to Banner Gateway Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. He was charged with domestic violence-related charges of assault, disorderly conduct and criminal damage.

The unidentified woman had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.