AP NEWS

Woman Allegedly Stabbed 18 Times with Broken Beer Bottle in Tewksbury

March 26, 2019

LOWELL -- A man holding his ex-girlfriend against her will, threatening to kill her with a silver steak knife while they slept next to each other Sunday night -- later stabbed her 18 times with a broken beer bottle on the porch of a funeral home after she tried to run away Monday morning -- causing permanent disfiguring injuries, according to police.

The man, introduced in Lowell District Court as John Doe aka “Luis Hernandez” Tuesday afternoon, was held without bail. Police do not know his true identity, saying he stole the identity of a Puerto Rican man.

The defendant has been charged with armed assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, mayhem, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, intimidating a witness, impeding a police investigation, possessing/using a false RMV document, identity fraud, furnishing a false ID to law enforcement, and assault and battery on a family/household member.

The man listened in court Tuesday afternoon as a Spanish interpreter relayed the charges.

“It’s unclear what his true identity is,” Assistant District Attorney Gregory Galizio told Judge Barbara Pearson.

The defendant told Pearson through the interpreter that his name is Luis Hernandez and he was born in January 1983.

On Monday, his ex-girlfriend living above Tewksbury Funeral Home, 1 Dewey St., tried to escape. “Luis” had locked her in the bedroom Sunday night.

While she tried to run away on the funeral home’s porch Monday morning, he allegedly struck her in the head with a Corona bottle, breaking it and causing a severe laceration on her head.

The man then stabbed her in the back, neck, arms, chest and torso with the remaining piece of the broken bottle while yelling that he was going to kill her. The victim continued to scream for help during the attack,

A neighbor heard the commotion, came to the doorway and then called Tewksbury Police.

The victim sustained 18 separate stab wounds and lacerations to her head, neck, back, left arm and right breast. Her ear was also severely injured. A plastic surgeon, consulted by emergency room staff at Lahey Medical Center in Burlington, said the ear injuries were “permanently disfiguring.”

When police found the man in the bedroom Monday morning and had their guns drawn, the man’s right hand was covered in blood. He continued to drink from a beer bottle and said, “No hablo Ingles,” according to police.

Police later Monday in the apartment found small baggies that appeared to be cocaine.

As authorities investigated the man’s identity, they saw red flags from their “Identify the Imposter” training -- when they believe someone has fraudulently assumed the identity of an American citizen.

Police are more frequently seeing cases of Dominican nationals involved with drug cartels fraudulently presenting biographical information to a government agency, such as the RMV, to obtain ID. Upon receiving that ID, the impostor can legally drive, register vehicles, travel by air, vote, receive state and federal benefits and be arrested, booked and fingerprinted under their assumed identity.

Police say that the identities are usually taken from either the Puerto Rican Criminal History Index or the Puerto Rican DMV.

On Monday, Tewksbury Police contacted Puerto Rican authorities, who provided a true copy of Luis Hernandez’ driver’s license. It was clear to Tewksbury Police that this individual in custody was not the true Luis Hernandez.

This man has been using a MassHealth insurance card under the name Luis Hernandez, along with a Massachusetts ID card. He has also been receiving state assistance under the name Luis Hernandez.

Police later contacted ICE and advised them of the situation. An ICE agent arrived at the police station Monday afternoon to fingerprint the man.

There will be a probable cause hearing on Friday in Lowell District Court.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.