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Crime News

Texas Man Accused Of Kidnapping, Torturing And Assaulting Woman He Met On Dating App Over Christmas

Zachary Mills, 21, is accused of beating a woman with a screwdriver, holding her hostage and depriving her of food and water for five days over Christmas, according to Harris County, Texas court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.

By Caitlin Schunn
Dating App Tragedies

A Texas man is accused of kidnapping a woman he met on a dating platform over Christmas — allegedly sexually assaulting her and beating her up until she was able to escape days later, according to the Harris County Constable Precinct 4.

Zachary Mills, 21, is charged with first-degree aggravated kidnapping, according to the constable’s office.

Deputies with the constable’s office went to an apartment complex along Kuykendahl Road on Dec. 29 following a report of a woman who said she was severely assaulted by a male, according to the constable.

The alleged victim, identified by the initials J.W., told officers she met Mills on the dating app Bumble, and began a romantic relationship with him, according to court documents reviewed by Oxygen.com. She said that he picked her up from her own residence and drove her to his apartment on August Pines in Spring, Texas on Christmas Eve. She told officers he tried to have sex with her in his apartment, and she turned him down after which he allegedly began to punch her. She also alleges he bit her on the face and neck, and would even "grab a screwdriver and would strike her with the handle,” according to the records.

RELATED: Georgia Man Allegedly Kidnapped South Carolina Woman, Raped Her For Months

The woman told officers she tried to leave, but he kept her inside his apartment for five days during which he allegedly didn’t provide her any food or water, according to court documents. She told police Mills left the apartment for his father’s home after those five days, giving her the opportunity to run out and get help. The court documents say she had severe bruising to both eyes, bite marks, cuts to both her nose and throat, and severe bruising to most of her body.

Constable deputies executed a search warrant at Mills’ residence and arrested him on Dec. 30.

A police handout of Zachary Mills

Mills hired an attorney on Tuesday, posted a $50,000 bond, and is currently out on house arrest, according to Harris County district clerk documents obtained by Oxygen.com. Per the terms of his bond, Mills is required to wear a GPS monitor and follow a stay away order from the woman. 

He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 3.  

Mills’ attorney, Chris Denuna, told Houston’s KHOU that he doesn't believe the victim's story.

"These are egregious allegations, but I have not seen anything in the allegations that make them credible," Denuna said to the station.

Captain Jonathan Zitzmann from the Precinct 4 Constable said this is a good example of why people should use caution when online dating.

"Try to meet in a public setting, ideally meet in a group setting, do what you can to know individuals before you find yourself in a one-on-one situation," Zitzmann told KHOU.

The dating app Bumble released the following statement to Houston NBC station KPRC regarding the incident:

“We are shocked and saddened to hear about this horrible crime. We blocked this member as soon as we were made aware of this situation and in accordance with our Community Guidelines. We also have a dedicated law enforcement team available to respond to any requests from law enforcement as needed. We are dedicated to building a community where our members feel safe to make connections and build meaningful relationships. Every member of our community is expected to adhere to our guidelines anytime they’re using Bumble. Any profile that violates our terms or guidelines may result in getting blocked from the app for good.”

The constable said this is still under investigation, and more charges could be coming.