VERNON – A Vernon man was arrested on multiple battery charges after Washington County Sheriff’s deputies served an active felony warrant at 3435 Owens Avenue in Vernon, on July 7.

Matthew Harwood, 36, of Vernon, was taken into custody stemming from a report his girlfriend had previously filed with WCSO.

Law enforcement officers were able to secure the warrant based on evidence of the injuries sustained by the victim as well as her given statement and report, which alleged Harwood had subjected her to severe physical abuse over a three-day period.

When WCSO deputies arrived at Harwood’s residence, they encountered another individual in the home, identified as Jeremy Aultman, 31, of Panama City Beach, who had an active Washington County warrant for failure to appear. Both Harwood and Aultman were immediately taken into custody and transported to the Washington County Jail.

Harwood is currently facing charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm, aggravated battery using a deadly weapon, and battery touch or strike. Harwood is currently being held in the Washington County Jail on a total bond of $51,000.

Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews urges anyone with knowledge of crimes being committed to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. Tips may also be reported anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by emailing