Ex-Fairfield official accused of domestic violence, animal abuse has bond raised by $1M, taken into custody

Marshals at Bridgeport Superior Court handcuffed Ray Neuberger following the judge’s ruling to raise Neuberger’s bond by $1 million. It came after a request from Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Andres Bermudez Hallstrom, who said a recent search warrant for Neuberger’s phone turned up very concerning information.

Marissa Alter

Mar 15, 2023, 11:29 PM

Updated 430 days ago

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A former Fairfield town official was taken into custody again Wednesday during his first court appearance for alleged threats he made to the police detective who arrested him on animal cruelty charges. Marshals at Bridgeport Superior Court handcuffed Ray Neuberger, 39, following the judge’s ruling to raise Neuberger’s bond by $1 million. It came after a request from Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Andres Bermudez Hallstrom, who said a recent search warrant for Neuberger’s phone turned up very concerning information.
Bermudez Hallstrom told the judge that based on that new evidence, the state upgraded Neuberger’s charges from second-degree harassment to first-degree harassment, which is a felony. Neuberger is also charged with second-degree threatening in the case.
Judge Maureen Dennis reviewed the results of the phone seizure and said searches done by Neuberger on his phone raised “extreme concerns.” Dennis declined to put the nature of the searches on the record but agreed they warranted a bond increase. She upped the bond in each of Neuberger’s four cases by $250,000. Neuberger has two pending animal cruelty cases and a domestic violence case.
“My reaction is it’s about time,” said Linda Pleva, vice president of Desmond’s Army Animal Law Advocates. Pleva and about half a dozen animal advocates were in court for Neuberger’s appearance following his arrest last week. According to his arrest warrant Neuberger texted several threatening and harassing messages to the lead detective in his animal cruelty cases including, "You took my life brother. Give it back before I take yours." "I promise you. Your [sic] gonna pay for what I didn't deserve." "I PROMISE." "I'll die for it." "Just learned what a chemical burn is. Should I do it to all the cops?"
“This case today showed the clear clear escalation from animal abuse, we already know domestic violence, but now he's gone further with threats to officers. I think it shows clear escalation,” Pleva said. “I hope the bond increase is enough to keep him where he is because I think he's definitely beginning to get unraveled.”
Neuberger was first charged with animal cruelty in 2018 for allegedly abusing his ex-fiance's two dogs. Police said he poured boiling water on one and broke the other’s ribs. He served 43 days in jail and had to make a donation to the Bridgeport Animal Shelter, then was granted accelerated rehabilitation, a probation program that allowed the charges to be dismissed.
But in Oct. 2022, he was arrested for animal cruelty again, this time accused of dousing his then-girlfriend’s cat in bleach and beating it to death. He was also charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct in a domestic violence incident involving the woman. That arrest led the woman’s former roommate to come forward with claims Neuberger abused another cat owned by the girlfriend back in Feb. 2022. According to the warrant in that case, the cat suffered severe chemical burns while left alone with Neuberger. The injuries were so bad, the cat required extensive treatment including having her tail amputated. He was charged in that case last month, which is when police said the threats and harassment of the detective began.
“We've become pretty immune to the courts being very lenient, so today was a little bit of a prize,” Pleva told News 12 as she left the courthouse.
Neuberger’s attorney Alec Gulash had no comment following the hearing. Neuberger is due back in court for all his cases on March 31.
Neuberger served as a Representative Town Meeting member for Fairfield from 2013-2017. Neuberger also ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature in 2016.


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