BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – A man from Bay St. Louis is behind bars today after police say he held his ex-girlfriend hostage in her own home for 20 hours and beat her. She escaped Wednesday evening and was able to get help. Matthew Thomas Cothard faces charges of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, kidnapping, malicious mischief and two counts of simple domestic violence assault.
According to police, Cothard sliced one of the tires on the woman’s car so she couldn’t leave, broke her cell phone so she couldn’t call anyone, and then wrecked the inside of her home.
Wednesday evening, Cothard let the woman to use his cellphone to call a friend to pick them up so they could buy a new tire for her car, since Cothard did not have a car himself. While they were buying the tire, the victim was able to communicate to her friend that she was under distress. When they returned to the house and Cothard got out of the truck, the woman and her friend sped away and went to a safe place to call 911.
Police arrested Cothard at the victim’s house on a warrant stemming from a domestic assault she had reported a month ago.
Cothard is behind bars in Harrison County on a $38,000 bond.