HAVERHILL — A 37-year-old man is charged with driving an SUV over his girlfriend and then backing up the vehicle to drive over her again during an argument that turned violent.
The incident and several assaults inside the vehicle by the man left the woman bloody from head to toe — bleeding from her mouth, hands and legs, and her jacket and shoes covered in blood, police said. She was also suffering hip pain, police said.
The man — Christopher Bourque, 37, of Manchester, New Hampshire — is charged with assault to murder. Police said the vehicle driving over the woman was captured on video by a surveillance camera. Because of the amount of clearance under the SUV, the woman escaped serious injury.
The surveillance camera is one of several set up in various locations of the city to aid police.
Bourque is also charged with assault and battery on a family/household member, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and operating with a suspended license. He was arraigned on the charges Jan. 25 in Haverhill District Court. There, he and his defense lawyer, Tim Connors, agreed that Bourque be held without bail due to the seriousness of the charges. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25.
According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, the victim — a 30-year-old Manchester woman — told police that on Jan. 22, she and Bourque went to the Utopia Lounge in Plaistow about 10 p.m. After leaving there just before midnight, they drove to a gas station in a black 2017 Chevy Tahoe, which the woman said was Bourque's company vehicle, the report said. The couple went to the store to buy cigars, the woman told police.
According to the report, the woman told police that at one point she and Bourque began to argue and he hit her in the face with an open hand. She said their relationship had been physically abusive in the past.
According to the report, the woman told police that she and Bourque arrived at a gas station, which police identified as the Gulf station and convenience store at 764 Main St., Haverhill. She told police that at one point after the couple argued, she began walking toward the Lowell Five Bank next to the gas station when Bourque drove the Tahoe at her and ran her over.
She said she went underneath the Tahoe, got up and ran back to the gas station, the police report said.
According to the report, the woman told police she asked the store's two workers to call police, but the workers refused, saying they did not want to get involved, and then gave her some Band-Aids for cuts she had suffered.
When contacted by The Eagle-Tribune, store owner Inder Pal said his employees told him they offered to call police, but that the woman refused their help.
"I've been here 20 years and my employees are good and I trust them as they always help people," he said. "My workers asked the woman if she wanted them to call police and she said no. We always call if there is a need. We always help people here."
Police said they reviewed a video from the city surveillance camera that shows the Tahoe arriving at the Gulf station and convenience store a few minutes before midnight and the woman getting out of the vehicle and entering the store, which was just about to close. Police said the video then shows the woman leaving the store and walking on a sidewalk toward the neighboring Lowell Five Bank at 750 Main St.
Police said the video shows Bourque driving out of the Gulf station, turning right onto Main Street then onto a sidewalk and grassy area in front of the bank. The video then shows the Tahoe driving over the woman and immediately backing up and driving over her again before parking in the rear of the bank parking lot, police said.
Police said the recording shows the woman then getting up off the ground, walking back to the Gulf station and going inside. Next, Bourque is seen banging on the front door of the store, police said. The video shows Bourque walked around the building, appearing to look for another way in, police said.
Police said the woman left the store a few minutes later, at 12:12 a.m., and that she joined Bourque walking back to the Tahoe when she lost her balance and fell against a wall. Police said Bourque picked her up, threw her over his shoulder and walked back to the Tahoe, which then left the bank property onto Main Street, heading south.
The woman told police that Bourque let her drive the Tahoe and that he hit her repeatedly in the face, according to the report.
"It could have been a million times," she told police about how often he hit her with his open hand. The woman also said Bourque began taunting her, and told her that he ran over her on purpose, according to the report.
The woman told police that the couple ended up at the Cumberland Farms convenience store in front of Westgate Plaza, where she entered the building and begged a worker to call 911. The call was made and Bourque drove off before police arrived, the report said.
When officers got to the store, they found the woman had a bloody mouth, blood was running down her hands and legs, she was complaining of hip pain, and her jacket and shoes were covered in blood. She was taken to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen for treatment.
Police said they obtained a warrant for Bourque's arrest. He was arrested Jan. 23, police said. No other details were available.