SALT LAKE CITY — A man training to be certified as a police officer may have used techniques he learned at the police academy to restrain his wife, according to newly released court documents.
Matthew Collins, 25, of Bluffdale, was charged June 2 in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony. Collins is accused of choking his wife and leaving her handcuffed in one incident and pushing her down a flight of stairs in another, according to charging documents.
Collins was a Salt Lake police officer at the time of his arrest. He is currently on administrative leave.
Collins' wife told police the abuse started when they were married in Washington in 2011, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed Thursday in 3rd District Court.
"Over time, the physical abuse intensified where Collins would push, hit and strangle her repeatedly," the warrant states.
In March of 2016, while at their West Jordan apartment, the woman said the two were arguing and Collins told her to "get out of his way." The woman said she was not in his way and did not move. That's when the woman said Collins choked her, according to the affidavit.
"The victim recalled 'seeing spots' and Collins taking her down 'fast and hard' to the ground. The victim felt like Collins was employing a technique he had recently learned (at Peace Officer Standards and Training) and felt one of his knees on her neck with the other applying force on her lower back. While she was on her stomach on the ground in this position, Collins placed handcuffs on her with her hands behind her back," the warrant states.
The woman believes she was handcuffed for at least an hour. Collins told friends he did it because she was "suicidal" and he didn't want her to hurt herself, according to charging documents.
In June of 2016, the woman said Collins pushed her down a flight of stairs and choked her until she lost consciousness, the affidavit states.Comment on this story
Collins filed for divorce from his wife in March. The divorce became final on June 5, according to court records. On June 15, a judge issued a protective order for the ex-wife and her family pending the outcome of Collins' case. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 18.
When Collins was arrested earlier this month, he was staying at another woman's house in Clearfield. In order to remove his weapons, a search warrant was served on the Clearfield home. Three handguns, a rifle, four knives, a baton, two boxes of ammunition plus eight AR-15 magazines were seized, according to the warrant.