On Friday night, Jenna Rae McDonald went on a date that ended in disaster.
By the time the sun was up the next day, Ormond Beach resident Matthew Thomas was arrested and charged with kidnapping, inflicting bodily harm, terrorizing a victim, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony and battery.
According to a police report, at around 4 a.m. Saturday, Daytona Beach police were called to the Ormond Beach police station, where the woman had fled after escaping the suspect.
At the station, the victim told the officer that earlier she and the suspect had gone to a house party in Daytona Beach. At some point Thomas asked her to come into his car to go to another location that was near Ocala, where they “could be alone and undisturbed.”
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McDonald, 25, reported that her date was intoxicated so she told him she wanted to stay at the party or go to a bar across the street.
That response didn’t go over well.
“The defendant continued to become increasingly irate and aggressive towards her until she agreed to leave the party with him in hopes of pacifying his anger,” according to the report filed by the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Once inside his pickup truck, the woman said that Thomas became even more argumentative, aggressive and jealous, demanding she unlock her cellphone and allow him to see whom she had recently contacted or if she had picked up anyone at the party.
When she didn’t comply, she said, he began to slap and punch her on the left side of her head, face and neck several times.
After the physical abuse, the suspect demanded affection, and threatened to fracture the bones in her fingers if she didn’t hold his hand, she said. He also bit her on her left hand during the assault, the report said.
All the while, Thomas was driving away from well-lit areas toward dark, deserted areas and locked all the doors of the car as the victim pleaded to go back to the party.
They eventually arrived at his house.
While McDonald was messaging her sister on Facebook about what was happening, she said the defendant grabbed her iPhone 8 and threw it on the ground. “He then wrapped a cellphone charging cord around both of his hands and snapped it taut and said if McDonald ran away and he caught her that he would kill her,” the report said.
McDonald took the threat as her cue to bolt, heading toward a large residence with several bright exterior floodlights, where she remained until the defendant drove away from the area. She then flagged down a motorist, who took her to the local station where she reported the incident.
McDonald had “visible redness and swelling on the left side of her face, as well as a bite-mark impression on her left hand,” but declined medical treatment, said the officer who wrote the report.
During the investigation, Thomas was arrested by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office for an unrelated incident in New Smyrna Beach and taken to Volusia County Branch Jail. As of Monday, he was still there, held on $32,250 bail.