A Massachusetts woman is believed to have jumped out of a second-story window to escape an abusive boyfriend who had held her captive for about a week, police say.
Matthew McAuliffe of Quincy, Mass., was arrested on Wednesday afternoon. According to a statement from the Quincy police department, he has been charged with assault to murder, aggravated assault & battery, strangulation, assault & battery on an intimate partner, and kidnapping. He is being held without bond pending a dangerousness hearing.
Police say the woman’s life was saved by alert neighbors.
“Officers were dispatched to a residence after an emergency 911 call that a female was outside screaming for help,” police said in the statement. “Officers arrived within minutes of the call and observed that all was quiet. They immediately began speaking with neighbors and learned that a male party had approached the female from behind, covered her mouth, and forcibly dragged her into an apartment.”
Authorities forced entry into the apartment, according to the statement.
“Officers located a female victim and her boyfriend inside the residence,” the police statement says. “Officers immediately began rendering aid to the victim who was unresponsive, lying motionless on the bed. She had agonal breathing and red marks on her throat.”
Agonal breathing is a medical term used to describe gasping for air or struggling to breathe. It is often a symptom of a severe medical emergency or injury.
“Detectives learned that the victim’s boyfriend had held her against her will for the last week,” the statement alleges. “Fearing for her safety, she jumped from a second-story window to escape.”
According to court documents obtained by WCVB, the woman allegedly told McAuliffe she was pregnant, but was not sure what to do. She then alleged that McAuliffe began acting paranoid and told her she “could not leave” the home and had to “get rid of” the unborn baby.
The alleged victim later locked herself in the bathroom and jumped out the second-floor window to get help, documents allege.
According to the Boston Globe, McAuliffe has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His next hearing is on February 9. His attorney has not returned a call for comment.
Terrifying. May she rest in peace.