, Salem, MA

May 7, 2013

Beverly man held in attack on girlfriend


---- — BEVERLY — Not even a neighbor walking in on Nelson Gonzalez as he was strangling his girlfriend could stop the attack on Friday afternoon, police and prosecutors allege.

Instead, Gonzalez, 35, dragged the woman into a bedroom and slammed the door shut before resuming his assault on her, according to a police report.

Now Gonzalez, of 30 Railroad Ave., Beverly, is being held without bail at Middleton Jail pending a hearing next Monday into whether his release poses a danger to the woman, who was taken to the hospital as a result of the attack, or the general public.

Prosecutors are seeking to have Gonzalez held without bail until he stands trial on charges that include attempted murder and four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court.

According to a Beverly police report, officers were called to a home on Railroad Avenue shortly after noon on Friday by a neighbor, the same neighbor who moments earlier had witnessed part of the attack.

The neighbor told officers that she had heard yelling, screaming and objects breaking and heard a man yelling “You (expletive), I’ll break every bone in your (expletive) body. I’ll (expletive) kill you.”

As she opened her own door, she saw the victim’s 4-year-old daughter running up the stairs toward her.

The door was open and the neighbor looked in to see Gonzalez with his hands around his girlfriend’s throat. When he noticed the neighbor, she told police, he dragged his girlfriend into a bedroom and slammed the door shut behind him.

The girlfriend told police that inside the bedroom, the attack continued, as Gonzalez smashed her head into the wall, hit her with a fan and threw her into the corner of a box spring, where she landed on her neck.

At one point, she managed to break free and flee the apartment, chased by Gonzalez, who again yelled threats toward her.

The neighbor scooped up the 4-year-old girl and ducked into her own apartment, fearing for her life, according to police.

By the time police arrived, Gonzalez was gone. A Danvers police dog tracked him to the corner of Highland Avenue and Cabot streets, then lost the scent.

A witness told officers that he had seen a man fitting the description given out by police getting into a cab heading for Salem.

The victim told police the attack came after Gonzalez heard her on the phone speaking with the father of the girl about some financial help. She said Gonzalez told her that he would kill her and then himself because he had nothing to live for.

Gonzalez was subsequently arrested on a warrant.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.