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Man allegedly held girlfriend prisoner for 3 days

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

A Decatur man faces charges of holding his girlfriend prisoner and terrorizing her over a three-day period, Decatur police said Monday.

Police arrested Thomas Paul Cowart, 25, on Sunday afternoon on misdemeanor charges of unlawful imprisonment and third-degree domestic violence.

Lt. Frank DeButy, a police spokesman, said the department's criminal investigations division would look at the case but that he didn't know what direction that investigation might take. The 23-year-old victim told police Cowart became violent after drinking a large amount of alcohol at his 170 Harold Drive S.W. residence Friday.

"He slashed at her face several times with a knife. She turned her head and blocked and got cuts on her hands, arms and the base of her neck," DeButy said.

DeButy said the victim apparently suffered bruising from Cowart holding her down.

"According to the victim, during the three days, he would not allow her to leave and he repeatedly beat, strangled and threatened her with his hands, knife and a metal pole. He also gouged one of her eyes with his fingernails," DeButy said.

"The victim said she was able to leave only when Cowart's mother came to the residence (Sunday) and saw what was happening. Cowart's mother took her to a friend's house," DeButy said.

Cowart bonded out of Decatur City Jail on Monday.

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