A man who punched his ex-girlfriend in the face while threatning to kill her during a harrowing, violent car ride last year was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison, the Stearns County Attorney's office reported.

Dale David Lott, 42, of St. Cloud, was given the maximum sentence under the state's "dangerous offender" statute due to his frequent run-ins with the law and the court's finding that he was a danger to public safety. 

Lott's criminal record includes convictions for second degree criminal sexual conduct, assault, illegal possession of a firearm and drug possession. He has been incarcerated on and off since the age of 15, according to court records.

A woman told police that she was out drinking at a bar with Lott on May 25, 2014, when she attempted to break up with him. Later that night, while the woman drove them home, Lott "freaked out" and began beating her. He took her phone and car keys and then drove aimlessly into the countryside with the woman in the passenger's seat.

Lott told the woman he would run her "into a pole," repeatedly hit her and said he would kill her. He would not let her use her phone to call her mother. The woman tried to escape by pulling the car's emergency brake. He punched her again and knocked out her teeth, which the woman showed Lott. He then panicked and began talking about suicide, told the woman they should talk out their problems and tried to act "nice," the woman told investigators. 

He then drove her back to their place and left her. The woman's mother came to pick her up to take her to the hospital, and she saw Lott sitting a car nearby. The mother confronted Lott, punched him on the arm and told him she would make sure he went back to prison. Lott punched her in the face.

The woman and her mother went to a nearby hospital for help. St. Cloud Police officers investigating the assault found Lott the next day hiding in a locked room in another woman's residence. He was arrested while trying to flee out a window. 

Lott was convicted of first degree assault and felony kidnapping. He was also convicted of fifth degree assault for punching his ex-girlfriend's mother. Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen sentenced Lott to 40 years for kidnapping, 20 years for the felony assault charge and 90 days for the misdemeanor assault charge. The sentences will be served concurrently. 

Photo: Dale David Lott. Source: Minnesota Department of Corrections