A Frederick man faces first- and second-degree assault charges this week after police said he strangled a woman during an argument Monday night.
Matthew Posch Collier, 38, appeared to be intoxicated when Frederick police arrived at an apartment in the 300 block of Madison Street shortly after 9 p.m. for a reported assault, according to charging documents filed in Frederick County District Court. Along with Collier, police met with a woman at the apartment who told the officers that she and Collier had gotten into an argument about his being drunk that escalated into an assault, the documents state. Specifically, the woman told police that Collier had put her in a headlock with one arm across her throat and another across the back of her neck, preventing her from breathing.
The woman went on to say that she managed to free herself only after biting Collier’s torso, the documents state.
Collier denied the accusations, telling police that the woman had attacked him and showing them bruises on his arms that he said he suffered while defending himself, according to the documents. Despite Collier’s objections, police sided with the woman, citing red marks on her neck that seemed to back up her account.
Assistant State’s Attorney Catherine McDermid argued in favor of withholding Collier’s bail, telling Frederick County District Judge Dino E. Flores Jr. that Collier represented a significant risk to both the community and to the woman specifically.
“She was unable to breathe for several moments. ... Your honor, the facts involved in this case are very concerning to the state,” McDermid told Flores.
Assistant Public Defender Christina Moehrle, on the other hand, cited Collier’s different version of events, calling into question the police and prosecutor’s depiction of the assault.
“The reality, your honor, is that exactly what happened that evening is still in the investigatory phase,” Moehrle said.
Flores acknowledged the seriousness of the charges, but nonetheless allowed Collier to be released on $10,000 unsecured bail, albeit with several conditions, including that Collier have no contact with the woman in question and stay away from the address where the argument occurred.
“I am very concerned about you going back to this location and having contact with this woman,” Flores told Collier. “This was a very dangerous situation.”