Massachusetts state Rep. Carlos Henriquez might be innocent, and his arrest for beating his girlfriend on and off for two hours might be a misunderstanding. As with most domestic violence incidents, the best evidence is the most obvious. Being smacked around with a closed fist generally leaves some signs. Presumably, this is why the Boston police arrested Henriquez. Boston.com reported on the details:
In a Boston police report filed in court, Katherine Gonzalves told Boston police that she and Henriquez were friends and who had recently embarked on an “intimate relationship’’ within the past month.
Gonzalves told police that Henriquez came to her mother’s home around 2 a.m. and picked her up, telling her that he wanted to discuss their relationship. She said the conversation turned tense, and that Henriquez spent the next two hours driving around downtown Boston, and along Storrow Drive and into the Fenway neighborhood – assaulting her and refusing to let her out of his car.
“Ms. Gonzalves stated that Mr. Henriquez had punched her with a closed fist repeatedly and strangled her while she was in his motor vehicle,’’ police wrote in the report. “Ms. Gonzalves stated that every time she attempted to jump out of the car the suspect (Henriquez) grabbed her wrists to prevent her from jumping out of the motor vehicle.’’
During the two hours in the car, police said in the report, Henriquez allegedly seized Gonzalves’s cell phone and removed the battery and SIM card, rendering it useless to her, police said in the report.
As the car slowed on Forsyth Street, Gonzalves told police, she jumped out of the still-moving car, leaving her right sandal behind. “Officers observed scuff marks on Ms. Gonsalves right shin and multiple bruises on her arms and wrists,’’ police wrote.
Domestic disputes are always complicated tragedies. When public officials become involved, it adds another layer to the complications. Too often, power and influence come into play. When the official is the perpetuator, the lying can be both adept and absurd.
Henriquez denies the charges, even though his girlfriend’s mother claims she heard an argument and the car driving off, which fits with her daughters story. Henriquez explained that he is innocent because he was not raised to treat women that way.
“I was raised by a strong mother and also raised with a younger sister both of whom I respect and love deeply. My father, Julio Henriquez, who recently passed was a track coach and mentor to hundreds of young women from this community and I have dedicated myself to protecting women, not abusing or assaulting them.
“Putting my hands on a woman is contradictory to my upbringing and my own morals.
“As both a community activist prior to getting elected and as an elected official I have spoken with hundreds of youth and adults about the problem of violence against women. I have worked tirelessly with multiple agencies and organizations who champion against the issue of domestic violence. It is a mission I am committed to in my personal and public life.”
That is the old “I’m really a nice guy” defense. Nowhere does Henriquez explain why his girlfriend is bruised. Of course, jumping from a moving car might cause that. However, that is not much of a defense for Henriquez since most people don’t exit cars while they are still moving unless they are trying to get away from someone.
In Henriquez’s statement he said that the case will be settled by the courts not the media, but it is clear that his initial focus is about winning over public opinion.