Westport home invasion tale unravels: Domestic assault charged

Hospitalized for a stab wound, a Westport man first told police that he was wounded in a struggle with a knife-wielding home  invader. But as police questioned 18-year-old Anthony Nieves and his 19-year-old girlfriend, they said the home invasion story fell apart. Instead, they charged Mr. Nieves with assaulting his girlfriend, among other charges. Police were notified at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, that a person had been stabbed and was receiving treatment at a local hospital.  Westport detectives responded to Charlton Memorial Hospital and spoke with Mr. Nieves. Initially, said Westport Detective Anthony Cestodio, Mr. Nieves told police that he lived in Fall River with his parents but then he revealed that he actually lived at 231 State Road in Westport. He told detectives that an intruder broke into the apartment through a window.  Mr. Nieves said that he punched and kicked the attacker who brandished a knife and stabbed him in the upper torso.  He said that he chased the intruder who fled into a parking area behind the apartment complex. Mr. Nieves said that his live-in girlfriend, who is two months pregnant, and her one-year-old son were inside the apartment during the attack. Uniformed Westport police officers were sent to the apartment to check on the safety of the woman and her child.  She told them a similar tale of an intruder bursting in armed with a knife. But details in her account of the attack didn't match those told by Mr. Nieves.  Also, she had a deep scratch to her face and clumps of her hair were found in the trash. Confronted with the contradictions, she changed her story. She said that there had actually been an argument between her and Mr. Nieves in which he slammed her to the floor, pulled her hair, punched her and bit the side of her face.  During this attack, she said Mr. Nieves broke her cell phone as she tried to call for help. She told police that she managed to stand up and grab a knife which she swung at him when he attacked again, cutting him once in the shoulder.  Mr. Nieves then ran from the apartment and she locked the door behind him. Det. Cestodio said that Mr. Nieves' mother, who was not present during the attack, drove him to the hospital. Mr. Nieves' cut was described as minor, not requiring stitches. After he was released from the hospital, he returned to the apartment where he was arrested. Police charged him with domestic assault on a known pregnant victim, intimidation of a witness and misleading police. Det. Cestodio said that the victim’s cell phone battery was located inside his pocket during the booking process at the police station. Masachusetts Department of Children and Families was called to check on the well-being of the victim and her child.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.