MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Before the alleged assault, police say Michael Cooper gained entry into a West Haven woman’s home by asking to use her telephone.
But Cooper, who police said didn’t know the woman, allegedly turned on her once inside the Nonquit Street home Wednesday afternoon. Police said he strangled the woman to the point of unconsciousness then started pouring a chemical substance on her face.
The 30-year-old New Haven man is then accused of stealing the woman’s car and crashing it in New Haven before returning to West Haven, where he was eventually captured by police.
On Thursday, Cooper appeared in Superior Court. After some of his 13 prior convictions were read aloud, Cooper was ordered held on $750,000 bond. He was to be kept in a psychiatric unit inside jail.
Back in West Haven, neighbors on Nonquit Street were stunned to hear of the alleged assault.
Dominic Montalvo said there’s been some broken windows lately but nothing as serious as the allegations against Cooper.
“We are kind of shaking a little bit,” said Montalvo, who added that his fiance is pregnant and there are other children in the neighborhood. “We don’t want anything bad to happen, especially to our child.”
Added Annette Car, “You don’t let anybody in your house that you don’t know, I don’t care who it is.”
Cooper is charged with home invasion, second-degree strangulation, second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, among other charges. He is due back in court April 21.
AJ Walker reporting