Haverhill Police Officer Faces Assault Charge After Match.com Alert Leads to Fight With Girlfriend

(WHAV News file photograph.)

A longtime Haverhill Police officer remains on paid administrative leave as his department investigates the circumstances surrounding the events leading up to his Aug. 7 arrest on domestic violence charges.

City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. tells WHAV 48-year-old Carlos Arriaga is off the job while Haverhill Police investigate the matter. Arriaga was arraigned more than two weeks ago without notice and as WHAV reported Friday, he appeared in Newburyport District Court for a hearing that same day on charges of assault and battery on a family/household member and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon following an incident on Wednesday, Aug. 7, WHAV has confirmed.

According to a police report, Sgt. James Keenan was dispatched to a reported disturbance at Arriaga’s home Aug. 7 at 11:55 p.m., after a female caller said she was being “attacked” and “assaulted by Carlos Arriaga and she wanted to file a complaint.”

Arriaga told Keenan he and his girlfriend came home and had a few drinks before going to bed. While in bed, the officer said his girlfriend “started to yell” after he received a Gmail notification. Their fight spilled over into the garage and the couple continued to raise their voices as she sat in the driver’s seat of her car and attempted to drive out. At one point, Arriaga opened her car door, and when items—including a metal water bottle—spilled out, he picked them up, threw them back onto the passenger seat and told her to “get the f—k off his property,” according to police.

It was at that time that Arraiga said he called officer in charge Lt. Garrett Sarfde to request a supervisor be sent to his home. He told police he called her “bad names” but did not touch her.

In her police interview, the 39-year-old woman said the phone notification Arriaga received was a Match.com alert and that when she attempted to leave, he “was acting all crazy, punching her car windows.” While she did not tell Keenan she was in fear, she did say she was struck in the face near her right eyebrow with the metal water bottle when Arriaga threw the items back into the car. Keenan did not observe redness or bruising and said she denied medical attention. The woman told police that she immediately blocked his phone number and left the scene.

Hours before his arrest, Arriaga coached a softball team of his Haverhill Police peers as they took on employees from Haverhill District Court at Trinity Stadium. Haverhill District Court First Justice Stephen S. Abany threw out the first pitch.

On Aug. 14, court officials denied an arraignment had taken place, telling WHAV Arriaga would be arraigned in either Lawrence or Newburyport. At the time, WHAV was told the case was “pending.” According to court documents obtained by WHAV on Aug. 23, Arriaga was actually arraigned in Haverhill District Court by Abany on Aug. 8.

Represented in court Friday by attorney Gerard R. LaFlamme, Arriaga appeared before Newburyport First Justice Peter F. Doyle, who continued his case until Sept. 27. He turned over his police-issued gun, magazines and license to carry on the night of his arrest.

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