OCEAN CITY — A Seaford man was arrested on first-degree assault charges this week after allegedly strangling the man who hired him to help with a residential remodeling job.
Around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, OCPD officers responded to a residence at 82nd Street for a reported assault that had already occurred. The officer met with the victim who had several abrasions on his shoulders and neck and a bright red coloring around his entire neck. The victim told police he hired the suspect, identified as Matthew Cell, 35, of Seaford, to help him with a remodeling job at the unit on 82nd Street.
The victim told police Cell started drinking around 6 p.m. and became belligerent and too intoxicated to work. The victim reportedly told Cell to just sit there because he was too drunk to continue to work. According to police reports, Cell took that to mean the victim did not want to pay him and threatened to beat the victim up.
When the victim feigned a fake 911 call from his cell phone, Cell allegedly wrapped his right bicep under the victim’s chin and began squeezing as he pushed the victim’s head down. The victim characterized the strangle hold as a “neck breaker” and told police Cell squeezed harder and harder until he began seeing stars and could no longer breath and nearly passed out. The victim told police Cell had a wrestling and mixed martial arts background and he feared for his life as Cell continued to choke him.