HAVERHILL — Thanks to a tip from a neighbor, police arrested a man who is charged with raping another man while threatening him with a razor.
Haverhill police charged Jonathan Nzali, 26, of 9 Northeastern Ave., Salem, with resisting arrest and giving a false name to police — charges that stem from his arrest Monday night in Haverhill. Nzali is charged by Lawrence police with aggravated rape, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon and threats to commit a crime. Those charges are related to an incident that happened last week in Lawrence, according to police.
Lawrence police Chief John Romero said Nzali was wanted for the rape of a man in his 20s in an alley off Essex Street. Romero said Nzali did not know his victim, During the rape, Nzali threatened the man with a razor, Romero said.
Romero said the rape occurred between midnight last Thursday and early Friday morning.
Lawrence police obtained a warrant for Nzali’s arrest and subsequently issued an alert to area police departments to watch for a blue, 2001 Chevy Tahoe with New Hampshire plates that was registered to Nzali.
Nzali was arrested Monday night and held overnight at the Haverhill police station and arraigned yesterday morning in Haverhill District Court. Judge Patricia Dowling ordered that he be held without bail pending his transfer to Lawrence District Court, where he was to face charges related to the rape, court officials said.
Haverhill police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said that on Monday at 10:37 p.m., Det. Michael Shinners was on patrol when he was dispatched to Midlake Street on a report of a vehicle that was parked at the side of the street, pointing in the wrong direction. Midlake Street is a short street that connects Concord Street and Route 110, near Winnekenni Park.
“One of the neighbors called us to say a vehicle was parked the wrong way and that they didn’t believe it belonged there,” Thompson said.
Thompson said Lawrence Police had previously alerted area departments to be on the lookout for the Chevy Tahoe. Shinners approached the vehicle and, when he saw a man sleeping under a blanket on the rear seat, called for backup, Thompson said.
According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, police were notified that Nzali was possibly armed and dangerous. Working on that assumption, officers surrounded the vehicle, drew their service weapons and woke Nzali. He was arrested at gunpoint, according to the report.
“When they got him out of the vehicle he struggled and tried to break away from the officers,” Thompson said about Nzali. “During questioning he gave them a false name.”
According to court documents, Nzali goes by a number of aliases, including Jonathan Stoun.
During his booking at the Haverhill Police Station, Nzali spelled his last name as “Stone,” according to a police report.
“We are also applying for a search warrant for his vehicle,” Romero said yesterday.
Information about Nzali’s court appearance yesterday was unavailable at the time of this report.