Fairfield standoff suspect rearraigned on new domestic violence charge; held on $4.5M bond for all cases

The attorney who was at the center of a standoff in Fairfield was rearraigned on his new domestic violence charge Friday afternoon. Neil Bhatia, 46, was in Stamford Superior Court on his latest alleged violation of a protective order.
Weston police served Bhatia with the warrant Thursday while he was in custody at Bridgeport Superior Court on other charges. Because of that, the judge there set bond in the Weston case. It was then transferred to Stamford, the correct jurisdiction, where it had to go before a judge again.
Despite the different court, the judge kept bond in the case at $1 million, much to the relief of the victim’s attorney.
“We appreciate that the court maintained the substantial bond in this matter. I think it's necessary for the protection of my client and the community,” said attorney Gene Riccio.
That bond is in addition to another $1 million bond set in Bridgeport Thursday for failure to appear on domestic-related charges there. It's also on top of a $2.5 million bond issued after Bhatia failed to show up to court in Stamford Wednesday for sentencing in other cases. He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of violation of a protective order, two counts of violation of probation and two counts of violation of release conditions. In exchange, the state agreed to 45 days in jail.
“He received what's called a Garvin warning, which means that they had a deal, but if he gets arrested before he gets sentenced, that blows up the deal. So he's subject to the maximum punishment for the crimes which he pled,” explained Riccio, adding that’s at least nine years.
Bhatia also has more charges coming after a standoff with Fairfield police Wednesday night. They went to his home on Mona Terrace after Bhatia missed his arraignment that day on two counts of risk of injury to a minor, along with disorderly conduct. Police ended up evacuating the neighborhood after smelling natural gas. They eventually forced Bhatia out of his home using tear gas.
Bhatia is back in Stamford Superior Court on Dec. 12. He returns to Bridgeport Superior Court Dec. 8.