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Standoff suspect indicted
Hostage incident occurred last fall
Matthew Scott Whelchel

A Forsyth County Grand Jury has indicted a man on drug, weapon and other charges in connection with a 10-hour standoff last fall with authorities in north Forsyth.

Matthew Scott Whelchel, 28, was arrested Nov. 8 after Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputies used force to enter a home on Burruss Mill Road, where he had been reportedly keeping a woman hostage.

Whelchel was indicted this month on one count each of family violence aggravated assault, family violence battery and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

He also was indicted on one count each of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

Court documents show that Whelchel pointed a shotgun at the woman, with whom he shared a home, and threatened to shoot her.

He also allegedly struck the woman with the firearm and threatened to kill a sheriff’s investigator and other authorities during the incident.

Authorities were alerted to the situation by Whelchel’s ex-girlfriend, who reported he had beaten up his current girlfriend and was holding her hostage.

After attempting to negotiate with Whelchel for several hours, authorities used a device to remove a house door from its hinges. A Taser was then used to subdue him after he resisted arrest.

Authorities have said Whelchel has a criminal history and was most recently arrested in August for battery under the family violence act, obstruction and cruelty to children.

In a separate matter, he was also indicted on one count of failure to register as a sex offender.

In January 2003, Whelchel had been convicted in Forsyth County of aggravated assault and statutory rape, documents show.

Whelchel was one of about 40 people the grand jury indicted this month.

Also indicted was 30-year-old Ryan Cocuzza on two counts of family violence aggravated assault and five counts of family violence aggravated battery.

Cocuzza was arrested in June after he reportedly stabbed his 60-year-old mother at their Adair Park home in Cumming.

Authorities said Cocuzza’s mother survived the incident, in which the suspect also stabbed himself.