An East Prairie man accused of severely beating a woman and holding her hostage is in jail. 38-year old Brian K. Merryman of East Prairie is charged with two felony counts of first-degree domestic assault and felonious restraint. According to a news release, an East Prairie police officer responded to a report of a man chasing a woman around Lincoln Street on Wednesday. The officer saw a man dragging a woman by her hair down the roadway and heard her screaming for help as he approached in his cruiser. When the officer arrived, the man fled on foot. It was learned the woman on May 5 was severely beaten, causing broken bones, lacerations and contusions. She was held hostage overnight May 4 and allegedly beaten continuously by the suspect before she escaped the next morning.