Man charged with trying to kill Columbia woman

May 20, 1992

A 500-pound man was arrested Sunday and charged with trying to kill a Columbia woman after they argued about his weight, police said.

Bertram Womack, 39, was arrested early Sunday after allegedly binding the woman's hands and feet with an electrical cord, then beating her and cutting her with a kitchen knife, police said.

Womack, of the 6700 block of Half Crown Court in Columbia, was charged with assault with intent to murder, false imprisonment and possession of cocaine. He was being held yesterday at the county detention center on $100,000 bond.

Police said Womack continually beat and cut 28-year-old Sarah Matthews for more than an hour before she broke free and called police.

Matthews, of the same address, was taken to Howard County General Hospital, where she was treated for head wounds and facial cuts and released.

Matthews said she has called police in the past to end disturbances between the couple. She described Womack as an ex-boyfriend who does not live at the Half Crown Court address. Police, however, said Womack gave that address as his home.

Sunday was "the first time he beat me up. I never had that problem before. . . . I guess something set him off," Matthews said. She declined to discuss what led to the incident.

"He didn't stab me," Matthews said. "He just put some scratches on me."

Matthews said she escaped when Womack went to her shed in the back yard "to get something. What? I don't know." She said she took advantage of the moment.

"I untied myself and called police and ran outside and waited in the driveway," Matthews said.

Her two children, ages 8 and 3, were asleep during the incident and were uninjured.

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