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Belleview man charged with battery after victim’s 911 hangup

Matthew Lamar Underwood

A Belleview man is accused of punching his live-in girlfriend in the face to keep her from calling 911 and then trying to get away from the police officers who arrested him.

Matthew Lamar Underwood, 32, was charged with simple domestic battery, tampering with a victim and resisting an officer without violence after the incident, which happened Tuesday night.

A Belleview Police officer responded to a disturbance at Underwood’s residence after the dispatch operator heard struggling sounds before the 911 call was disconnected. The operator tried to call the number back but there was no answer, according to the police report.

The victim told the officer that she went to a doctor’s appointment earlier in the day and since she wore makeup, Underwood took her phone and accused her of cheating. She said they started arguing and Underwood wouldn’t return her phone, the report said.

The victim said she told Underwood she was going to call the police and she used his phone. She said Underwood then hit her in the face, ripped her pants pocket and scratched her side while trying to take the phone in the middle of the street. The victim said Underwood finally threw her phone to the ground and walked away from the residence, according to the report.

The victim said she has been in a dating relationship with Underwood for four years and they have lived together at the incident location for six months. The officer did not observe any injuries on the victim’s face but there were scratches on her side and her pants pocket was ripped off, the report said.

Another officer observed a man matching Underwood’s description walking in the neighborhood. The officer called Underwood’s name and he quickly walked away. The two officers followed Underwood and called for him to stop, but he continued to walk away. A K-9 deputy from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was in the area and was able to get Underwood to stop after threatening to release the dog, according to the report.

Underwood was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was held on $15,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on May 16.

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