Guests at the Extended Stay America in Woodbury witnessed a New Year's Day tirade during which a St. Paul man sloshed hot coffee on a woman, tried to take her keys and allegedly picked her up and dropped her in the lobby.

Witnesses told police Eric Lamar Sawyer, 30, was out of control.

He has been charged with felony domestic assault, appeared in Washington County District Court in February, and is scheduled to return March 2.

According to the complaint:

Sawyer and the victim were guests at the hotel on New Year's Eve and they were drinking. He had been verbally abusive to her throughout the night and at one point confrontational.

On Jan. 1, the victim tried to get away, but he pulled her hair, slapped her and pushed her into a cabinet in the hotel room. She ran outside, but he caught up with her, pulling and dragging her through the parking lot. She ran into the hotel lobby where she thought she'd be safe, but he came after her again, in front of several other people.

When a witness suggested a call to 911, Sawyer said: "You ain't going to call anyone." Then he entered an employee area and acted aggressive with staff.

The victim, who witnesses said was trying to avoid the incident, had broken fingernails and scuff marks on her leggings and boots from being dragged.

Sawyer, who smelled of alcohol, denied any assault. He claimed the incident was verbal only - loud and disruptive.

He has two prior domestic violence-related offenses in the past decade - violation of a no-contact order and interference with a 911 call. Both convictions occurred in 2011.