Matthews official resigns as details of arrest emerge

Matthews Mayor Pro Tem Joe Pata resigned from the Matthews Board of Commissioners Wednesday, four days after he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his live-in girlfriend.

“At this time, I need to focus my energies on my family,” Pata wrote in his letter of resignation. “If I cannot give 100 percent to my duties as a member of the Board of Commissioners, I must step down. I hereby resign ... effective immediately.”

Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor said: “I want the town to move forward as this has taken a toll on so many.”

Police arrested Pata Saturday morning after being called to his Matthews home by a friend of his live-in girlfriend, according to the arrest report. Once they arrived on the scene, officers described the woman as disoriented with blood-matted hair from a cut on the back of her head, a swollen and broken nose and bruised right eye, the report said.

She told police that Pata had hit her several times in the face, the report said.

The woman’s four children also lived there and, at one point, fled the home. “We all saw my mom all bloody and bleeding and were told to go back downstairs,” one child told police.

The police were first called regarding the dispute Friday evening to the Black Chicken Wine Cellar in downtown Matthews, where, according to the arrest sheet, a woman told them Pata repeatedly told his then-girlfriend she “looked disgusting” and to go to the restroom and fix herself. The argument escalated, and police were called. The parties said they would be fine and would be going home shortly.

The friend who called police took each to Reverdy Oaks Drive separately that evening. When she drove Pata home after the girlfriend, he repeatedly said “I am going to kill her,” according to the report. Pata went in the house upon arrival. The woman parked the car and went into the house where she found the then-girlfriend on the floor bleeding from her face.

Neither Pata nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

Hardiman: 704-358-5928