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A Massachusetts woman leapt from the second-story window of an apartment building to escape her boyfriend, who had allegedly been holding her captive for a week, authorities said.
But when Quincy Police arrived at the residence “minutes” after receiving a call from concerned neighbors who reported a woman “outside screaming for help” they found that “all was quiet,” according to a statement from the department.
After speaking with neighbors, police learned that witnesses had seen a man—later identified by authorities as 32-year-old Matthew McAuliffe—approach the distraught woman from behind, cover her mouth and “forcibly” drag her into an apartment.
Police forced their way into the locked apartment and found McAuliffe with a woman, who was “unresponsive and laying motionless on the bed” with red marks around her throat. The woman, who had also been struggling to breathe, was rushed to Boston Medical Center, where she was treated for her injuries.
Detectives said she later told police that her boyfriend had been holding her against her will for a week.
“Fearing for her safety, she jumped from a second story window to escape,” police said.
Police declined to provide any additional details of the incident, citing the victim’s privacy and the ongoing investigation; however, court documents obtained by local station WCVB revealed the incident may have started after the woman confided in her boyfriend that she was pregnant.
She said she was unsure of how she felt about the pregnancy, but McAuliffe allegedly got upset and began to act paranoid. He told her she couldn’t leave the apartment and that she had to “get rid of” the baby, court documents stated.
McAuliffe is now facing charges of assault to murder, aggravated assault and battery, strangulation, assault and battery on an intimate partner and kidnapping. A not guilty plea has been entered on his behalf, according to The Boston Globe.
He is being held pending a “dangerousness hearing,” next week where motions in connection to his arrest, will be heard, The Boston Herald reports.
In Massachusetts, prosecutors can request a “dangerousness hearing” that would allow a defendant to be held for 180 days before trial if they are deemed too dangerous to be released on bail or pretrial conditions, according to MassLive.
Police commended the woman’s neighbors for their quick action saying their efforts, in conjunction with those from police “may very well have saved this young woman’s life,” according to the statement.
“They did exactly what we would hope: they contacted 911 and observed from a safe location,” police said. “They were able to provide us with information needed to quickly locate the victim.”
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