CINCINNATI — Surveillance video from outside a McDonald’s drive-thru window showed Jessica Wilson rush from a car to try to hand her 2-year-old daughter to an employee.
The employee can be seen reaching out the window with both arms.
“Hand the child to me,” the employee said, according to prosecutors.
But Levenski Crossty, the child’s father, managed to pull the child away from Wilson. Crossty got back in the car with the child and drove away, leaving Wilson, prosecutors said, stranded and “desperately asking someone to call 911.”
That July 2016 incident is at the center of Crossty’s trial, which began Tuesday at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati.
Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Broo called it “a night of sheer terror” for Wilson that began when Crossty broke into the house where she was staying with her four children. The 27-year-old man is the father of the youngest, the 2-year-old girl.
When Crossty drove away from the McDonald’s in the Sayler Park neighborhood of Cincinnati, all four children were inside the Pontiac Grand Am.
Wilson was left badly beaten, with two black eyes, bruises, a cut on her head, and a bite mark on her hand.
Earlier at the house, Broo said Crossty climbed in through a window after pushing in an air conditioning unit. He confronted Wilson about being unfaithful.
Wilson testified she tried to lock herself in a bathroom, but Crossty forced his way inside.
“He was ranting and raging,” she said.
Wilson testified she doesn’t remember how they ended up in the car with the children. She said the beatings escalated in the car, as Crossty demanded the passcode to her smartphone. He wanted to see who she had been texting, she said.
“He kept hitting me, wouldn’t stop,” Wilson said, adding that she told him the passcode.
There were several stops before the McDonald’s, including possibly at two parks. Wilson did not have a clear memory of what happened. She said they stopped at Crossty’s sister’s home, and she tried to get away but Crossty bit her.
She said they went to the McDonald’s after she told him the children needed food. They were at the drive-thru window after 8 p.m., according to the surveillance video.
Crossty is charged with felonious assault, theft and multiple counts of abduction and kidnapping.
Crossty’s attorney, Stephan Madden, during opening statements called it a misdemeanor domestic incident. He said Crossty drove away with the children to protect them from Wilson, who he said was intoxicated.
After leaving the McDonald’s, Madden pointed out that Crossty dropped off the children at Wilson’s father’s home.
“There is no abduction, there is no kidnapping, there is no theft,” he said.
Also Tuesday, the judge revoked Crossty's ability to use a phone at the jail, after Broo said Crossty called Wilson in the weeks before the trial and tried to convince her to hide to avoid being served with a subpoena. Broo also said Crossty called Wilson multiple times Monday, but she didn't answer.