The following story was previously published on Lake Legal News.
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Florida — A pregnant woman who had to crawl through a patch of woods to get away from her violent boyfriend told Howey-in-the Hills Police the man said he was going to “punch her in the stomach to get rid of her problem,” last week.
The woman told police Steven Wallie Matthews, 36, came home on Oct. 4 between 11 p.m. and midnight and woke her up, screaming and yelling in her face; she said she believed he was angry about her pregnancy, according to an arrest affidavit. Matthews head-butted the victim in the face, giving her a bloody nose. The victim fled the violent scene and went to the police department, but no one was at the office and she did not have her phone because Matthews had taken it, the affidavit states.
She returned home and found Matthews was not there and she went to sleep. On Oct. 5, Matthews woke her again by yelling and screaming. The victim grabbed her clothes and went into another room to change and Matthews is alleged to have chased her down, slammed her against a door several times and slapped her in the face. She found her phone and tried to leave, but Matthews chased her again and said, “he was going to punch her in the stomach to get rid of her problem,” the affidavit states. Matthews then took her phone again.
The victim crawled through a patch of woods to get away from Matthews and a neighbor called the police department’s non-emergency number and no one answered. She then went to a convenience store on Palm Avenue and called for help.
Police arrived and found the victim with visible injuries and dried blood on her clothes and face, the arresting officer noted in the affidavit. Police contacted Matthews and placed him under arrest for aggravated battery on a pregnant female and deprivation of 9-1-1.
Matthews’ bond was revoked on a possession of methamphetamine charge from August 2020. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on no bond.