LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — A 28-year-old local man faces a felony count of battering a woman while a 6-year-old child pleaded for him to stop, according to Porter County Police.
The alleged victim told police Cody Mathas choked her, pushed her against a wall and walked around the residence with a lit Tiki Torch threatening to burn down the home before she was able to call police saying she feared for her life.
Mathas, who faces charges of domestic battery and in the presence of a child and interfering with the reporting of a crime, was taken into custody early Friday following the incident at a residence along U.S. 6, police said.
The woman told police the argument broke out around 8 p.m. Thursday when Mathas accused her of cheating on him. He began pushing her around and when she fell to the floor, the child starting yelling at Cody to stop.
The woman dropped the child off at her mother's home, drove around a bit hoping Mathas would cool down and yet when she returned to the residence around 1 a.m. the argument resumed, police said. She accused Mathas of choking her, pushing her up against a wall and throwing her to the ground causing pain.
When she attempted to call 911 for help, Mathas took the phone from her, police said. She retrieved her phone and when she began videoing him walking around with the lit Tiki Torch, he again took her phone away.
She retrieved the phone again and called police.
Mathas told police he was arguing with the woman about not being able to pay bills, police said. He said the dispute did become physical, "but only stated it was a shoulder check."
Mathas denied physically touching the woman other than a "shoulder check," according to the incident report.
He admitted to threatening to burn down the residence with the lit torch, but only because of being so far behind in bills, police said.