By Curt Brown
NEW BEDFORD — A city man faces a detention hearing on charges he choked a woman, sending her to the hospital, and then assaulted her again after she was discharged, court records say.
Robert A. Lopes, 37, of 143 Sycamore St., Apartment 2, is being held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction, Dartmouth, prior to Thursday’s dangerousness hearing in New Bedford District Court, records say. Judge Katie Rayburn ordered Lopes held without bail for the dangerousness hearing at the request of Bristol County prosecutors when he appeared in New Bedford District Court on Oct. 28.
Lopes is charged with strangulation or suffocation, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a family/household member, court records say.
The allegations of abuse started July 4 and only came to light on Oct. 25 when the victim came into the downtown New Bedford police station with family members and made a complaint, court records say.
The victim said she had an argument with Lopes on the Fourth of July and it became physical when Lopes grabbed her from behind by the neck with his hands and squeezed, according to court records. She said she is unsure whether she lost consciousness or not.
One or two days later, she said she felt “numbness on her right side” and drove herself to St. Luke’s Hospital, where she later passed out, court records say. The victim and a family member said the victim had a stroke while in the hospital and was transferred to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, where she had a second stroke.
The staff at Rhode Island Hospital advised the family that her condition may be “trauma-related,” court records say. The victim eventually went to Vibra Hospital of Southeastern Massachusetts for rehabilitation and was sent home for two months. There is no information in the court documents about how long the victim was a patient at Vibra.
After her discharge, Lopes “again assaulted her,” kicking her while wearing his shoes and hitting her with his hands, court documents say.
The victim was eventually placed in the care of state Department of Children and Family Services, where she recently told her family and the staff about the past allegations of abuse by Lopes, including the strangulation, court records say. New Bedford police requested a warrant for Lopes’ arrest and he was taken into custody on Oct. 27.
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