Police: Man Held Woman Hostage After Meeting Online
FORD HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) – A convicted felon from Chicago Heights has been arrested for allegedly holding a woman against her will, beating and choking her after meeting her on the Internet.
Robert McMath, 46, has been charged with one count of aggravated domestic battery, one count of unlawful restraint, one count of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, and one count of assault, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Julie Mann Reports
He was ordered held on $500,000 bond during a hearing at the Markham courthouse on Wednesday.
Sheriff’s police said McMath spoke with the woman for six months on the Internet and the phone after meeting on a dating website. He posted a profile on the site stating his goal was “discovering the woman of my dreams.”
He also described himself as “compassionate, understanding, open minded and tender loving…” and went on to say “my only motivation is to keep you happy… in all ways possible. I am a perfect gentleman,” sheriff’s police said in a news release.
McMath never mentioned to the 39-year-old woman that he had a violent criminal history and was a member of the Conservative Vice Lords street gang, police said.
The woman agreed to meet McMath on March 25, driving about 160 miles from her home in Kenney, Ill.
The two spent time together at his home for the next two days. McMath allegedly drank continuously and eventually became belligerent when the woman told him she was going back home.
McMath, who has the name “Cassanova” tattooed on his arm, allegedly assaulted the woman and forced her to drive to a relative’s home in Ford Heights, where he refused to let her leave, police said. While at the Ford Heights home, McMath allegedly choked the victim, pulled her hair and kicked her while she was on the floor.
He also allegedly took away her cell phone and threatened her life and the lives of her children. He told the woman he planned to hold her until later this week, when they would move downstate together.
After two days of being held and beaten by McMath at the Ford Heights home, the woman tried to befriend him and gain his trust so she could escape. On March 30, she was able to get her car keys and drive to the Chicago Heights Police station.
Officers there contacted the Cook County Sheriff’s office, which serves as the police force in Ford Heights.
Police searched for McMath at addresses he is known to frequent and questioned several friends and relatives. On Monday, McMath turned himself in and charges were filed a day later.
McMath’s criminal record includes 22 arrests and 12 convictions. He has served 11 years in prison, sheriff’s police said.
His next court date is April 26 in Markham.