Bridgeport man charged with abducting, assaulting ex-girlfriend

Nelson Rivera (Photo provided by the Bridgeport Police Dept.)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Bridgeport police say they broke up a murder-suicide plot just in the nick of time.

Police say it was the worst-case scenario. They have arrested 49-year-old Nelson Rivera on a long list of charges from kidnapping to strangulation. He allegedly broke into a house on Beardsley Street and threw bleach on his ex-girlfriend’s face, then tried to smother her with a pillow. From there, court papers say he dragged her out of the house, by her hair, at knife point. David Pizarro found some of the evidence.

“When I woke up in the morning I found a knife in my driveway,” said Pizarro. “I don’t know what went on, but he was still in there.”

Pizarro has known the victim for more than 15 years, and saw her ex-boyfriend, Rivera, hanging around the house.

“He had everything planned,” said Pizarro. “He used to stay here so he knows the apartment. I think he was torturing her. He was planning to kill her.”

Officers first responded to the Beardsley Street home just before 8:30 a.m. Monday to reports of a woman trapped in her room calling for help. Officers arrived to find a rope tied from the bedroom doorknob to the kitchen sink, which prevented her from leaving the room. Police say the woman in the room was concerned for her roommate’s safety.

Police were able to track Rivera to his house and say they found some of the victim’s belongings in his car. Officers stormed the house and say they took the victim to safety after finding her trapped in the attic. Pizarro had been praying for her safe release.

“Thank God she is alive,” said Pizarro. “She will live another day to see her children. She has three children, would have been a bad thing. I have known her for fifteen years and she is like family.”

In court papers, Rivera admitted to using crack cocaine and marijuana. Police say he is known to them.

Rivera is charged with criminal attempt at murder, reckless endangerment, first-degree burglary, unlawful restraint, first-degree assault, first-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree strangulation and threatening.

He is being held on $1 million bond and will be back in court Jan. 20.

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