Assault alleged in ugly break-up

lfalce@centredaily.comJune 18, 2014 

— What might have been a simple break-up turned ugly when a Ferguson Township woman allegedly attacked her ex-boyfriend with two hammers, a belt and her car.

The case against Hannah Matos, 28, was bound over for trial Wednesday on two counts of felony aggravated assault, misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats, stalking and simple assault and a summary harassment charge.

It started when her boyfriend, Lafon Brown, broke up with her, according to his testimony at a preliminary hearing Wednesday. The two had met through Penn State’s Ballroom Dance Club and started dating in February.

On June 12, however, he broke up with her at her West Aaron Drive home. She left, but he stayed.

When she returned the next morning, things started civilly. She wanted her pictures from his phone. He went to get the phone to transfer them to her, he testified.

But the attack started when he took it into the room with her computer, Brown said. He told District Judge Allen Sinclair that Matos sprang at him, locking her arms around him and pinning down his arms for about 40 minutes. When he got free, he said, he went to leave.

That’s when, he said, she hit him with a belt twice on the back. He said he took the belt away from her, tossing it aside.

Then, he testified, she pulled a hammer with a yellow rubberized handle from the back waistband of her pants. He said she swung it at him about six times, hitting him on the arm once.

Brown said he was afraid to just run, fearing she would throw the hammer at him, so he took it away before trying to flee.

He told the judge that she then said, “I hope you run fast,” before getting into her car and chasing him. Somewhere, according to Brown, she pulled out another hammer and started revving the engine. Brown said he saw a jogging path and ran down it, thinking she couldn’t follow in the car, but she did.

Brown testified that he climbed over a wall as Matos pursued. He finally reached the leasing office of Park Crest Terrace, where he called police.

Defense attorney Andrew Shubin questioned why Brown stayed the night at the home instead of returning to his own apartment, suggesting that Matos’ response was motivated by defending her home.

Brown replied that leaving would have left Matos’ 11-year-old son alone.

Shubin did argue successfully to modify bail. Matos, who is a Penn State student and is in a training program at Strawberry Fields, was being held on $75,000 straight monetary bail. Sinclair did agree to a 10-percent bond.

When Shubin argued his client’s clean criminal history in an attempt to ease bail, Assistant District Attorney Crystal Hundt countered that Matos is due back in preliminary hearings next week, accused of making false reports to authorities in Ferguson Township in September 2013. No bail is set on those charges.

Lori Falce can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @LoriFalce.

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