Oak Bluffs police arrested Marcelo Ferreira Barbosa, 27, on Saturday, February 8, on a charge of attempted murder after, police said, he strangled his live-in girlfriend following a night of heavy drinking.
Police also charged Mr. Barbosa with intimidation of a witness for covering his girlfriend’s mouth in an effort to prevent her from screaming for help, according to a police report.
Mr. Barbosa is being held in the Dukes County jail pending a dangerousness hearing Thursday in Edgartown District Court.
Mr. Barbosa’s sister, Flavia Ferreira Hershey of Edgartown will be summoned to court for intimidation of a witness and interfering with the investigation, Oak Bluffs police Lieutenant Tim Williamson said.
Ms. Hershey allowed Mr. Barbosa to remain in her apartment and at first refused to tell police of his whereabouts. She also called Mr. Barbosa’s girlfriend and threatened her, police said.
Police were alerted to the attack Saturday by a Martha’s Vineyard Hospital emergency room doctor who said he had treated a woman with injuries apparently resulting from domestic violence. The victim, who police did not identify, said her boyfriend had attempted to strangle her on the evening of Friday, February 7, after returning intoxicated to their shared condo from a party in Katama. The victim said she did not contact the police earlier because she didn’t want her eight-month-old baby to be taken away from her.
Police contacted Judge Joan Lynch who issued an abuse prevention order and put the victim in contact with support services.
When Edgartown and Oak Bluffs police located Mr. Barbosa in his sister’s apartment in Morgan Woods late saturday, he claimed that he had been intoxicated and had no memory of attacking the victim.