WEST HAVEN — Narcotics agents pulled over a traffic violator Thursday and ended up arresting him for allegedly kidnapping, beating and choking his girlfriend.
The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force said in an arrest affidavit that Manuel Luis Herrera, 26, of Brigham City, failed to stop his car at the sidewalk before leaving a fast-food restaurant, so they stopped him in their unmarked vehicle.
Herrera had drug paraphernalia in his pockets and admitted to police that he had used heroin and methamphetamine earlier in the day, according to the probable cause statement.
He also told officers a handgun with a loaded magazine was under the driver’s seat.
His girlfriend, a passenger, told police she owned the handgun but Herrera often had it “because it makes him feel powerful.”
The affidavit said the woman had multiple bruises on both arms and her neck. Under questioning, she said Herrera “often gets physical” with her and that he had prevented her from leaving his side for two days.
She said she had tried to run from him several times but he chased her down and on one occasion said, “Don’t make me threaten you with this gun.”
Herrera allegedly strangled her with one hand Wednesday, making it hard for her to breathe, the affidavit said.
He also took her phone and would not let her use her vehicle, she told officers.
Police said Herrera waived his Miranda rights and denied abusing the woman. He said she “bruised easily” and that the bruise on her neck was a hickey.
Police booked Herrera into the Weber County Jail in Ogden, where he was held Friday without bail on suspicion of first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping, second-degree felony possession of a firearm by a restricted person and misdemeanor counts of assault and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to court records, Herrera had two domestic violence convictions in the past two years, both in Brigham City 1st District Court.
In 2019, Herrera pleaded guilty to two class A misdemeanor charges of assault and one count of committing domestic violence in the presence of a child, a class B misdemeanor.
He pleaded guilty in March this year to attempted assault and interrupting a communication device, both class B misdemeanors.
In that case, he was sentenced to 180 days in the Box Elder County Jail, but he failed to show up to serve the time and a Brigham City judge on July 23 issued a warrant for his arrest.
In Thursday’s arrest affidavit, police asked that Herrera be held without bail because he presents a risk to his girlfriend.
“Manuel made multiple statements about wanting to die and appeared to be upset at his victim for what was reported,” the affidavit said.