EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 17, 2014

Accused throat slasher arrested; held without bail

Police say Methuen man sliced neck of ex-wife's boyfriend in her Haverhill apartment

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — Police arrested a Methuen man who allegedly entered the Haverhill apartment of his ex-wife on Sunday morning and slashed the throat of her new boyfriend with a box cutter. They found him on Tuesday afternoon with the assistance of the State Police violent fugitive team as he was getting into a car on Main Street.

Police said they arrested Angel Rivera, 35, of 47 Duston St., Apt. 1, Methuen, without incident along with two others who were in a car he had just gotten into. Police charged all three with trafficking in heroin and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after seizing 26 grams of heroin and 3.7 grams of cocaine, all in individual packets, and $4,396 in cash.

Angel Rivera was additionally charged with two counts of assault to murder while armed and three counts of home invasion in connection with the throat slashing. He was arraigned on Wednesday in Haverhill District Court and ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Jan. 24.

Police charged Alexis Barton, 27, and John Rivera, 27, both of 43 Freeman St., Apt. 2, with trafficking in heroin, morphine and cocaine, possession to distribute a Class B drug (subsequent for Rivera) and conspiracy to violate the drug laws. At Barton’s arraignment on Wednesday in Haverhill District Court, Judge Patricia Dowling set bail at $5,000 and issued her a 60-day warning, meaning if she is charged with another offense while her case is pending she could be ordered held for up to 60 days without bail.

Dowling ordered John Rivera held on $35,000 cash bail. Barton and John Rivera must appear at pretrial hearings scheduled for Feb. 19.

Police said they had been searching for Angel Rivera and that on Tuesday afternoon he was observed walking down Main Street, when he got into a car that was parked on the side of the road. Police said Barton was the driver and John Rivera was her passenger.

Police said Barton tried to drive away, but that they were able to stop the car.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, on Sunday morning police were dispatched to a Smith Street residence on a report of man with a neck laceration.

They encountered a 37-year-old man sitting on the porch, covered in blood with a shirt wrapped around his neck. Police described the laceration as a deep one that ran from the man’s adam’s apple all the way around to the back of his neck. The man was taken by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was treated for the wound.

According to the report, the home invasion and assault took place just after 8 a.m.

A woman told police she was married to Angel Rivera but that their relationship ended three years ago. She said Rivera had been calling her recently and had stopped by her home several weeks ago, when she told him she wasn’t interested in seeing him any more.

The woman told police that on Sunday morning she and her new boyfriend were in bed in her upstairs apartment when Rivera walked in with a box cutter in his hand. She said Rivera was “out of control” and was swinging a box cutter at her and her boyfriend.

The woman told police that Rivera began attacking her and her boyfriend and that he cut the man’s throat. She told police she tried to pull Rivera off of her boyfriend and that Rivera then ran downstairs.

According to the report, a man who lives on the first floor told police that at 5 a.m. he was getting ready for work when he saw Rivera standing in the driveway motioning to him to come outside.

The man told police that he went outside and told Rivera that he wasn’t welcome there and that he should leave. The man said Rivera apologized for an argument they’d had several weeks prior then left a “cut up” jacket to give to his ex wife.

Police obtained a warrant for Rivera’s arrest on charges of home invasion and assault to murder.