PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — State police are asking for the public’s help as they continue searching for a man who allegedly threatened the life of his ex-wife.

Police say Dennis Lee Backus, Jr. has threatened his ex-wife in the past, but recently, it’s escalated.

“He’s gone above and beyond someone who makes the average threat,” said Trooper Steve Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.

That’s why state police wants the public to help them locate the 42-year-old Backus. Authorities say it started when he violated a Protection from Abuse order and showed up at his ex-wife’s Swede Hill home in Hempfield Township.

“It did start off with some just general contact. Then, from that general contract – from her ignoring that contact – he showed up at her residence and then took her at gunpoint and forced her into a vehicle,” said Trooper Limani. “He had made several statements that she was not going to survive that evening.

“Fortunately, she was able to get away,” Trooper Limani added. “Right now, she’s actually in a different location. We’re trying to help make her feel secure and safe.”

Court records show Backus’ ex-wife has filed several PFAs against him, alleging he punched her while she was trying to tie her son’s shoes, threatened to beat her to death with a baseball bat and put a bullet in her head; much of it in front of the couple’s two children.

But these latest allegations have police very worried.

“To physically take someone at gunpoint and put him in your car is a different level threat, and that’s why we’re so concerned,” Trooper Limani said.

State police have issued an arrest warrant for Backus. They believe he may be driving a 2004 black Mazda RX8.

If you know the whereabouts of Backus, state police are asking you to contact them; however, they are cautioning, do not approach this man as he is armed and dangerous.

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