Details released in the aggravated assault arrest of Natrona County man

Matthew Drengenberg (courtesy of the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Court documents released Thursday morning, detail the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a Natrona County man in a case of suspected Aggravated Assault.

During his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon, suspect Matthew Drengenberg, age 33, was formally charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault and Battery and one count of Strangulation of a Household Member.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office affidavit, filed with Circuit Court, says that on August 27, at approximately 4:14 pm, dispatch received what is described as a “frantic 911 call” from an individual in the BB Brooks subdivision of Natrona County. The affidavit says that the caller claimed that they had been kicked in the stomach. After being on the phone approximately one minute dispatchers say that the caller began screaming and a male voice was heard yelling in the background. After that the line is reported to have stayed open but gone silent.

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Several Natrona County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the scene, and arrived at approximately 4:41 pm. The deputies located the victim, who identified their assailant as Drengenberg, before the victim was transported by helicopter to a Casper hospital.

Drengenberg had reportedly left the scene prior to law enforcement arrival.

The court affidavits say that the victim had a broken rib, a partial deflation of their lung, a swollen eye, multiple scrape marks, and other facial trauma. The victim was also reported to have a “tremendous amount of cactus” stuck in their legs. Deputies say that it took medical personnel approximately 30 minutes to remove the cactus.

The victim alleges that they had shared a home with Drengenberg for some time in the BB Brooks subdivision. On August 27, 2019; the two were involved in a disagreement that the victim says led to Drengenberg attacking them.

The victim told investigators that the beating from Drengenberg started and stopped several times over the course of an hour. The victim claims that they were thrown down, intermittently dragged through cactus, and kicked in the stomach and face.

At one point the victim describes being grabbed from behind, by the throat, being pinned to the ground, and being unable to breathe because they were sucking sand into their mouth and nose. During the incident the accuser said that Drengenberg announced that he planned to kill them.

At one point the victim said that they had managed to dial 911, only to have the phone taken away by Drengenberg. According to the affidavit it was then claimed that Drengenberg told the victim that it would take “the police twenty minutes at least to get here, so I can do whatever I want, you’re going to be dead before they get here.”

It was alleged that Drengenberg had kicked the victim fifty or sixty times in the head, chest, and stomach during the incident.

Deputies located Drengenberg at approximately 7:07 pm, August 27, near 11th and Melrose streets in Casper. It was reported that the suspect was wearing steel toed work boots, that were similar to those described by the victim.

The suspect declined to be interviewed by Natrona County Sheriff’s deputies at the time of the contact. He is described as smelling of alcoholic beverage, with bloodshot and glassy eyes. Deputies describe him as appearing “heavily intoxicated.”

During the investigation into the incident, deputies note that Drengenberg had been arrested by the Casper Police Department on April 17 , 2019 on a charge of Domestic Battery, on the same victim. During his initial appearance in court on Wednesday, Drengenberg was described as currently being out on a $1,500 bond for that charge.

The suspect was subsequently arrested and transported to the Natrona County Detention Center. During his hearing on Wednesday, he was given a cash-only bond amount of $50,000.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.