Police: Bay man beat, held ex-girlfriend captive for 20 hours - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police: Bay man beat, held ex-girlfriend captive for 20 hours

Matthew Thomas Cothard (Photo source: Hancock Count Jail Docket) Matthew Thomas Cothard (Photo source: Hancock Count Jail Docket)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

A Bay St. Louis man is behind bars after he allegedly held his ex-girlfriend hostage in her own home for 20 hours starting Tuesday night before she finally escaped Wednesday evening.

That is according to Bay St. Louis police Lt. Robert O'Neal.

Authorities say Matthew Thomas Cothard, 32, showed up to his ex-girlfriend's house on Cardinal Street around 10 p.m. Tuesday. O'Neal said that's when Cothard's reign of terror began.

Police say Cothard sliced one of the tires on the woman's car so she couldn't escape, and then proceeded to ransack the inside of her home.

O'Neal said Cothard cut holes in her furniture, sprayed Coke all over the house and threw her cellphone into a canal so she couldn't contact anyone.

O'Neal said Cothard continued to degrade and beat the woman until he decided he wanted to leave Wednesday evening, but he could not get away because of the slashed car tire.

Officials say that's when Cothard called someone to come pick him and the woman up to take them to get a new tire for the car. After getting the spare, the trio returned to the woman's house.

O'Neal said the woman waited for Cothard to start work on the tire, and that's when she made her escape with the person who had driven them to the store.

Officials say Cothard was still at the house when police arrived. He is charged with burglary of an inhabited dwelling, kidnapping, malicious mischief and two counts of domestic violence assault.

Cothard is being held at the Hancock County Jail on a $36,000 bond.

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