A Thief River Falls man has been charged in Pennington County District Court after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend.
Matthew Brian Wavra, 39, has been charged with felony domestic assault. He was arrested.
The charge stemmed from a report at about 10:58 a.m. Sunday, May 9 that Wavra was allegedly trying to drown his girlfriend and had been hitting her on the head. The woman was able to leave the home in the 400 block of State Ave. N. and go to another nearby home.
She said Wavra was upset when she arrived home late. She said the two of them got into a physical altercation with the woman hitting him and knocking out his tooth. She said he grabbed her and tried to drag her into a bedroom. She said he later became upset when she made fun of him for losing his tooth and he pushed her head underwater for five to seven-seconds while she was in a bathtub.
The woman suffered bruises to her arm and face. She said she also had scratches on her back. Wavra suffered a swollen lip and one of his teeth was missing. Wavra allegedly said the woman came home drunk. He called her a drunk, which led her to become angry and throw a glass jar at him. It hit his mouth, causing him to lose the tooth.
While explaining what happened to the sergeant, Wavra became argumentative. He said he was in Red Lake Falls to visit his mom for Mother’s Day. Wavra eventually said he would return to Thief River Falls that afternoon to speak with the sergeant. The woman’s daughter was home at the time of the incident. She said she was sleeping at the time, but she heard some commotion at 5 a.m.
When she went downstairs at about 10:30 a.m., she found Wavra there. Her mom wasn’t home. Police looked for Wavra, but they initially didn’t find him. However, an officer saw Wavra’s vehicle in the garage. The girl believed Wavra was hiding in the house. The sergeant and officer later found Wavra, clothed in a bathrobe, hiding behind a false wall in the basement. He allegedly said something along the lines that he didn’t want to talk to the police or have them involved. Wavra said he didn’t want to leave the girl home alone.
He reiterated his initial statement to the police and wanted the woman to be arrested for assault. Later, the sergeant attempted to obtain a recorded statement from Wavra. After being read his Miranda warning, he requested an attorney. For her part, the woman reiterated what she had earlier told police, but she said she didn’t know if the glass jar had hit him.
When asked about the tooth, she said she had hit him in the mouth with an open palm, causing the tooth to break. The woman showed police a jacket, which she said Wavra had ripped as he tried to pull her. It was damp, she said because he had poured water on her after she had returned home. She showed the sergeant a pitcher, which she said he had used to pour juice on her.
The complaint indicated that Wavra had two previous domestic-related convictions. They included a fifth-degree domestic assault conviction in 2017 and a protection order violation in 2018.