by Gail P. Montany

A St. Johnsbury woman who was assaulted late last night allegedly by an ex-boyfriend, was described as "emotionally upset, but not hurt" by police this morning.

Matthew Marden, 36, St. Johnsbury, is behind bars on $10,000 cash bail today after he allegedly broke into the apartment of a woman, whom police did not identify, then struck her and tried to strangle her before holding her over the third-floor porch railing and threatening to let go.

According to police, Marden was recently released from prison after serving time for domestic assault.

St. Johnsbury police were dispatched to 85 Railroad St. at about 11:45 p.m. on a report of a fight. Upon arrival, they found Marden had allegedly broken into the ex-girlfriend's apartment after she refused to let him in.

Sgt. Clem Houde said Marden proceeded to kidnap the victim in her own apartment, dragging her at one point to the back porch, where he held her over the railing. When he allowed her back onto the porch, she ran to her apartment to call police, said Houde. Before she could make the call, however, Marden struck her several more times.

Officers took an intoxicated Marden into custody and transported him to the police station. While there, said Houde, Marden became belligerent, throwing chairs and a desk in the holding cell and damaging a door. Marden was charged with kidnapping, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, unlawful tresapss and three counts of unlawful mischief. He awaits arraignment today in Caledonia District Court at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury

According to assisting Officer Paul Locke, the victim had been dating Marden for awhile but had recently broken off the relationship. He had been out of jail for less than two months after serving time for domestic assault.

The options for the victim, said Locke, include Umbrella and other victim services. Because they did not live together, a restraining order probably would not be available to her, but she will be able to seek a notice of trespass.

It may, however, not be enough, say police.

"It's only a piece of paper," said Locke. "There's nothing that can stop this guy from breaking her door again. We can't be there 24 hours a day."

Copyright 1997

The Caledonian-Record


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