Middletown police arrested a local man who is accused of threatening to kill, choking and sexually assaulting his girlfriend, who had recently moved to Connecticut to be with him.
Police arrested Joseph Bennett, a 21-year-old homeless man, after receiving a 911 hang-up call from the Saint Vincent DePaul soup kitchen at 8:34 a.m. on Tuesday, March 25.
On April 1, Bennett called NBC Connecticut and denied the allegations.
Police said they went to the soup kitchen and met with the victim, who reported that Bennett had assaulted her and threatened to kill her.
“I was actually shocked because I loved this girl with my heart and she destroyed it,” Bennett said in a phone call.
Several days earlier, the woman told police, she learned that Bennett was cheating on her and had told him not to touch her, she told police.
On Sunday, he sexually assaulted her and choked her with strings of a hoodie she was wearing when she tried to get him to stop, police said. Then, he started to choke her with a necklace.
The victim told police that she was initially too afraid to call authorities, but confided in friends, who confronted Bennett that night.
He became angry and tried to choke her again, then punched her in the eye, according to the arraignment report.
The woman told police that Bennett had also sharpened a knife and threatened to stab the woman and her friends.
Bennett said he is the one who was abused and has knife wounds.
At 8:30 a.m. on March 25, Bennett walked to the soup kitchen for breakfast and the woman took the opportunity to call police.
Authorities found Bennett on Newfield Street, arrested him and took him to police headquarters.
He was charged with threatening, second-degree strangulation, fourth-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault and breach of peace.
Bennett was released on a promise to appear and is due in court on April 24.