Police arrested Matthew Viereck just after 2:30 a.m. Sunday when a woman called 911 saying the 31-year-old had choked her.
When officers arrived at the apartment Viereck was “intoxicated and emotional” and had a bloody lip, according to probable cause documents.
“Viereck was not forthcoming about what happened,” Jackson Police Department officers wrote.
He said, “I don’t want to be hit anymore,” according to records.
Viereck kept changing the subject when officers asked him about the fight and wouldn’t allow them to photograph his bloody lip or a bump near his eyebrow.
The victim who called 911 told officers Viereck got into her face during an argument and she slapped him.
“[Victim] slapped Viereck in the face with an open hand and stated she was the first one to make physical contact,” documents stated.
Viereck then started punching the victim in the mouth repeatedly and knocked her to the floor.
“Viereck then grabbed [victim] by the hair with one hand and held his other hand over her throat, pinning her to the ground,” officers stated.
The woman couldn’t breathe and started to black out. She had red marks on the front of her neck and dried blood on her bottom lip, and her gums and teeth were bleeding, officers wrote in the report. She refused medical treatment, police said.
A witness who was there said she heard the victim screaming and saw Viereck on top of her, “holding her by the hair and throat.” The witness said she jumped in to help and tried pulling Viereck off the woman. When she got the woman away from Viereck the two women went outside.
Another witness said he heard the argument and, when he looked over, saw Viereck had the victim by the hair and was dragging her to the bedroom. That witness told police he “did not want any part of what was happening and just left.”
Officers arrested Viereck as the primary aggressor after interviewing all four people involved. He was charged with domestic battery and strangulation of a household member, a felony.
During his appearance in Teton County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon Viereck told Judge James Radda that he was defending himself.
“I understand the seriousness,” Viereck said. “I was acting out of self defense that night. I know it sounds absurd.”
Judge Radda stopped the defendant, reminding him that anything he said could be used against him later and that Monday’s hearing was for bail purposes. Viereck asked to be released on his own recognizance.
Radda set Viereck’s bail at $5,000 cash.
“You are presumed innocent,” Radda said. “But it’s an incredibly serious offense. There were injuries on [victim].”
Another hearing was set for Thursday afternoon.