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Brooklyn man arrested in Samaritan maternity ward

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A man who allegedly stopped short of abducting his 8-months-pregnant former girlfriend in November was arrested by Watertown police early Thursday morning in the maternity ward at Samaritan Medical Center, where he attempted to see his newborn child.

Ali Aboul Rhea, 30, Brooklyn, was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. on warrants charging him with felony criminal contempt, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He was detained for arraignment in City Court, where Judge Eugene R. Renzi set bail at $2,000, committing him to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building.

Police said officers were called to the hospital after the baby’s mother, Ivory L. Carolina, 30, Watertown, expressed concerns that Mr. Rhea might attempt to take the baby.

The hospital declined to disclose child birth information.

According to police documents, Mr. Rhea went to Ms. Carolina’s residence shortly before 8 p.m. Nov. 13 and offered to take her and her 11-year-old daughter to McDonald’s on State Street. At some point during that encounter at the residence, Mr. Rhea is alleged to have grabbed Ms. Carolina by the arm and tried to pull her outdoors, according to the specifications in the harassment charge.

Having somehow secured mother’s and daughter’s cellphones, Mr. Rhea drove past the restaurant and headed toward Lowville. Over Ms. Carolina’s protests, he said he was taking them to New York City, police allege.

For reasons not explained by police, he changed his mind when he reached Copenhagen. He turned around and returned his passengers to Watertown.

Ms. Carolina holds a Family Court order of protection against Mr. Rhea, police said.

Mr. Rhea was convicted of grand larceny and autostripping in Jefferson County Court and was sentenced to a prison term in February 2005. He was discharged from prison in June 2006, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website.

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