Police: Kidnapping suspect would have harmed victim if not pursued on I-95

Enrique Rivas-Castillo, 23, of Ansonia, was arrested following a wild chase Wednesday that ended after he jumped off an interstate overpass in Stamford.

Marissa Alter

Jul 8, 2023, 12:06 AM

Updated 282 days ago


Norwalk police said their pursuit of a kidnapping suspect onto I-95 and through multiple jurisdictions was critical because of concerns he’d go after the victim again.
“We felt that if he was not captured right away, the victim's safety would be in great peril, which is very common with domestic violence incidents,” Lt. Joseph Dinho told News 12 on Friday, speaking for the first time about the incident.
Enrique Rivas-Castillo, 23, of Ansonia, was arrested following a wild chase Wednesday that ended after he jumped off an interstate overpass in Stamford. Rivas-Castillo was charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, threatening, violating conditions of release, resisting arrest, reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit and drug charges.
It was Rivas-Castillo’s second arrest in two days. Ansonia police said they took him into custody at his home on Tuesday after a neighbor called in a domestic disturbance. Court documents said that when police arrived, Rivas-Castillo “had fresh blood on his shirt and face,” which he attributed to a motorcycle accident. He also denied anyone else was in the apartment and said he’d been arguing on the phone, the police report said. The report stated that while police spoke to him, a woman was able to get outside the home and flag down an officer. She told police, "he struck her in the ribs and pushed her down hitting her head and face on the pavement," according to the report. Rivas-Castillo was charged with assault and disorderly conduct. He posted a $7,500 bond and was given a court date of Wednesday at Derby Superior Court but never showed.
Instead, on that day, Rivas-Castillo allegedly threatened the victim, who lives in Norwalk, over the phone.
“The victim came to the police department, and out of fear, you know, filed a complaint with the investigating officer,” Dinho explained, adding that the woman revealed more about the prior domestic violence incident.
She shared that it began at her home in Norwalk on Monday with an argument where Rivas-Castillo threatened to get physical with her, so she left the house, Dinho said.
“The suspect followed the victim, caught the victim, hit the victim and then dragged the victim into the back seat of his car,” Dinho told News 12.
He said the victim told police he drove her to a dead-end street and assaulted her.
“He threw the victim down onto the ground and hit the victim’s face against the ground a couple times, dragged the victim back into the vehicle and then drove to his residence in Ansonia,” Dinho said. That’s where Rivas-Castillo then allegedly drugged the victim.
During her talk with investigators, police learned Rivas-Castillo was in Norwalk, driving around the victim’s neighborhood looking for her.
“They attempted to stop the vehicle and take him into custody, and he tried to flee—allude—and take police on a pursuit,” Dinho said.
The chase went from South Norwalk onto I-95 North to Westport, then headed south on the interstate, ending in Stamford. But not before Rivas-Castillo allegedly sideswiped drivers and intentionally hit multiple police cars. Video shot by a witness shows he then ditched his car, ran across the interstate and jumped off the overpass between exits 6 and 7.
A camera of the intersection below caught him landing, appearing unhurt, and running off before he was quickly taken into custody.
Norwalk’s police chief told News 12 one of his officers was hurt during the chase when Rivas-Castillo crashed into his cruiser. That officer suffered a leg injury and is home recovering.
Rivas-Castillo was arraigned in Stamford Superior Court Thursday where a judge issued a protective order barring him from any contact with the victim. Rivas-Castillo remains in custody on $750,000 bond. The judge ruled that if he bonds out, he’ll be subject to house arrest and GPS monitoring. He’s due back in court in this case on Aug. 23.
Rivas-Castillo is no stranger to the legal system. Court records list 19 cases under prior convictions, including for conspiracy to commit larceny, attempted assault of a public safety officer and multiple violations of a protective order. Records also show that in May 2022, he was sentenced to five years in jail, suspended after two years, and five years’ probation. It's unclear when he got out.

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