WKU student charged with kidnapping, strangulation


Michael Crimmins, Administrative reporter

Editor’s note: This story contains harsh language and references to relationship violence that could be disturbing to readers. This story has been updated to include the university’s statement.

A WKU student has been charged with kidnapping, strangulation, criminal trespass, terroristic threatening and assault following an argument with his girlfriend that took place in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 19.

According to a Bowling Green Police incident report obtained by the Herald, Jackson Martin, a member of WKU’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, was arrested after his girlfriend, whose name was redacted, came to the police department to report the assault the same day.

“Through investigation it was discovered that her boyfriend had used force to keep her in her apartment and strangled her and assaulted her while inside,” the report states.

The report can be read in full here.

The incident report and enclosed police narrative of the investigation lays out the girlfriend’s claims that Martin, after climbing through her bedroom window, restricted her from leaving her bathroom, sprayed her with bathroom cleaner, forced her face into a pillow, threatened her with scissors and threw her onto the floor before covering her mouth to stop her screams.

According to the incident report, the altercation occurred at an off-campus apartment on State Street near campus.

The report states the charges against Martin are kidnapping-adult, strangulation-first degree, criminal trespass-first degree, assault-fourth degree domestic assault and terroristic threatening-third degree.

He was arrested by BGPD at 10:12 p.m. of Nov. 19 and remains in the Warren County Regional Jail while awaiting his court appearance. The kidnapping charge has a bond of $10,000, according to the jail website.

The Herald reached out to Andrew Rash, associate director of student activities-Greek life; Charley Pride, director of student activities; and Jace Lux, university spokesman, for comment.

“The university is still gathering details about this incident and will cooperate fully with all investigative processes,” Lux wrote.

According to the police investigation narrative, BGPD’s investigation began Saturday afternoon after the girlfriend made her statement detailing the incident, including showing a video she took, via her hidden cell phone, of the incident.

The report states the incident began when Martin started arguing with her and he became “very angry.” She went to her room and locked the door when he began “banging on the door and yelling at her” until a friend convinced Martin to leave the residence at roughly 6 a.m.

According to the document, Martin returned about an hour later, getting inside through her bedroom window.

“[She] stated she attempted to lock the window, but then the subject, later identified as Martin, was able to open it and come inside the residence,” the report states. “She asked Martin to leave the residence, and he would not.”

Once in her apartment, the report states Martin sat on her bed and talked with her until noon, at which time she got up to clean and take a shower.

According to the report, once she was out of the shower, Martin began yelling at her again and “would not leave” when asked. When she tried to leave the bathroom herself, Martin “push[ed] her into the shower” shoving toilet paper in the toilet and at her while continuing to yell.

According to the document, Martin was also spraying her with “Scrub Free bathroom cleaner.” 

“[She] advised she got away from Martin one time, but he grabbed her by the ankles and pulled her back into the bathroom,” the report states. The girlfriend told police it “felt like she was in the bathroom for an hour” during the incident.

According to the report, the girlfriend was able to begin recording the incident on her phone once she was out of the bathroom. The recording is audio-only as her phone was hidden. The report provides excerpts of what Martin said to the girlfriend throughout the recording.

The report states that, in the audio captured by the girlfriend, Martin can be heard saying “I am a devil, and I love it. Being evil is fun. I like to make people cry.”

Martin also can be heard saying, “I don’t care if someone barges in here and arrests me. I’ll admit to what I did, and I’ll laugh about it. I don’t need anyone to define me. I’ll go where I belong. I’ll be smiling the whole time.”

Additionally, the report states Martin can be heard saying: “They don’t look like they are going to bruise very badly. They are just a little red. I made sure not to grab you hard. I’m smart about abusing women. I know how to do it right.” 

The report states Martin also told her “you’re not done with your torture yet. [S]o you sit right there, and f—ing take it … You have no idea I’m going easy on you. Should I go a little harder? Do you want to get punched? Do you want to get slapped? I want to slap you. I probably will.”

According to the report, Martin then said “now everyone will know. You’ve got my mark. A bigass welt on your face for like a week.” 

After sitting and talking to Martin for an “unknown amount of time,” the document states he seemed to calm down. The girlfriend went to get dressed. She put on Martin’s mother’s sweatshirt, which made Martin upset. According to the report, she took it off and Martin ripped it.

“Martin then became upset and pushed her onto the bed again,” the report reads.

The report states that after a few minutes, she tried to escape through her window but Martin “grabbed her and threw her back onto the bed.” Martin then “pushed her face down on her bed” and put a pillow under her head. Martin began to pull the pillow towards him, “causing her to struggle to breathe.”

According to the report, the girlfriend was “still having trouble catching her breath” after Martin let go.

The report states she then picked up a pair of scissors before dropping them again. According to the report, Martin can be heard in the audio telling her to pick them up or he would “stab himself.”

“[She] then stated that Martin advised he was going to cut her so she would always remember him,” the document reads. “She did not pick them up, and when she didn’t, Martin took them and attempted to cut himself. She then struggled with Martin to take the scissors away.”

The report states Martin then “picked her up and threw her onto the floor,” causing her to scream from pain in her right foot. 

“Martin then got onto the floor because she was screaming in pain, and he covered her mouth with his hand,” the document states. “[She] stated when Martin did this, she was unable to breathe and thought she was going to die. Martin eventually let go and she was able to jump out of the bedroom window.”

According to the document, she ran to Martin’s car, which still had the keys inside with the doors unlocked. She drove around the block until she deemed it safe to return home.

“She passed Martin a few blocks away from her residence, and that’s when she went back home, got her pet, and went to the police department,” the report states.

According to the report, after another officer got in contact with Martin’s mother, she said she would bring him to the police department. The officers met Martin in the front lobby around 9 p.m. that same day where he gave his account of the incident to officers.

Martin told officers he was supposed to go to a UK game in Lexington with a friend before he and the girlfriend got in an argument.

“Martin […] ran into her room and locked the door. Martin advised he did not wanna leave until he talked to her about the argument,” the report states. “Martin then stated he eventually did leave.”

According to the report, Martin then returned to her house to throw items at her window. When he did this, he said he “accidentally fell through the window.”

“Martin stated that [she] attempted to call the police at one point, and he took his phone away from her,” the report states. “Martin advised [her] then attempted to leave the bedroom, and he grabbed her and asked her not to call the police. Martin stated that [the girlfriend] then punched him in the face and kicked and scratched him. Martin advised he tried to push [her] back away from him. Martin advised every time [she] hit him harder, he would push her harder.”

According to the report, Martin drug her back into the bathroom when she attempted to escape, loudly saying “please don’t kill me.” According to the report, Martin then covered her mouth and whispered that he just wanted to talk.

“[The officer] then asked Martin why he would not let [her] go, and he stated, ‘Well, I just, a part of me feels like I needed to fix that situation right now, and I didn’t think that problem would ever be solved if I just let her go,’” the document reads.

According to the report, Martin said he covered her mouth twice because “he didn’t want to get in trouble.”

“[B]ecause there have been times in the past where she’s told people that I punched her in the face, uh, tried to stab her with a knife and I’ve never done anything like that,” Martin said, according to the report. “Okay. You know, I might’ve shoved her. I might have pushed her off of me. I might have grabbed her while she was running away, but I never tried to stab her with scissors. I never punched her in the face. I never smacked her in the face.”

According to the report, the officer left Martin in the room after the interview. Once the officer returned, he informed Martin that the evidence “was telling a different story.”

“I asked Martin what his intentions were when he went back to [the] house, and he stated, ‘at first, I wanted to see if she would be willing to talk things out with me, but there was no doing that,’” the report reads. “It was clear that there was no doing that. It wasn’t an impulse decision. I genuinely chose to do what I did.’”

According to the Warren County jail website, Martin’s case is set to be heard on Nov. 23 by Warren County District Judge Kim Geoghegan.

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected].