MESQUITE — Sheena Herschbach couldn’t live in what she called a nightmare any longer.
Her ex-boyfriend, Jason Greniger, had been holding her against her will at tiny Mesquite motels for six months, Mesquite Police spokesman Sgt. MaQuade Chesley said Monday.
On Saturday, Herschbach, 26, built up the courage to make her move and escape.
“He finally pushed me for the last time,” said Herschbach, adding Greniger was physically abusive. “I just said the heck with it. I went to the library, went online and talked to my sister.”
Greniger, 34, was arrested later that night and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one charge of second-degree kidnapping, according to police records.
The two had a long, turbulent past, Herschbach said Monday after agreeing to be interviewed by the Review-Journal.
Shortly after they started dating in 2009, she said Greniger began to physically abuse her. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to charges of malicious punishment of a child under age 4, a felony, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, according to Minnesota court records. Herschbach said those charges stemmed from his abuse of their three children, who are now in permanent foster care.
Despite their violent history, Herschbach repeatedly went back to Greniger. She got a protective order against him in the spring of 2012 and later moved to California.
Greniger followed her and persuaded her to take him back.
When she realized that she needed to get out of the relationship for good, she said, Greniger wouldn’t let her go. He threatened her life and told her he would kill her family if she didn’t go with him, Chesley said.
Greniger told her that they were going back to Minnesota, but instead they stopped and stayed in Mesquite. They worked as housekeepers at a small motel before moving into another small motel about three months ago to manage the property, Herschbach said.
Herschbach said he watched her constantly, never leaving her alone for more than 30 minutes at a time, something that rarely happened, she said. He watched her go to the gas station across the street to pick up beer and other groceries, timing her trips, Herschbach said.
If he thought she had stepped out of line, he hit her, Herschbach said. She never felt like she had a chance to escape and was worried about what would happen to her family if she tried to run.
“He thought we were together,” Herschbach said. “If I said anything, he threatened to hurt me, so I didn’t for a long time.”
Herschbach has been going through the motions of work and rest since regaining her freedom, but she doesn’t know what her next move will be. Until Saturday, she had been out of contact with her family for six months. She just learned her mother died in December.
Two of her five children are with their biological father in Minnesota, while the three children she had with Greniger are with foster families.
“I really don’t got anything left,” she said. “I’ll stay here and go from there.”
Greniger is also being held without bail at the detention center on an outstanding warrant from Minnesota, police records show. Details of the Minnesota warrant were not immediately available.
He is scheduled for court appearances on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to jail records.
Mesquite Local News Editor Kent Harper contributed to this report. Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at email@example.com or 702-383-4638. Follow him on Twitter @ColtonLochhead