PRINCETON: The story is changing – woman was not ‘abducted’ as first reported

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By Lea Kahn and Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writers
In an evolving story, Princeton Police now say a woman was not abducted Friday night on Witherspoon Street as she first reported but that she and a former male acquaintance went together to a vacant house on Green Street where he allegedly assaulted her.
Police said the 48-year-old woman and Arnoldo Agreda-Rodriguez, charged with assault and making terroristic threats, allegedly entered the house through an unsecured door.
During the encounter, Mr. Agreda-Rodriguez allegedly grabbed her neck and hit her on the head with his hand, according to police charging documents. He allegedly told her, “This is the last time I will see your face,” the documents alleged.
She escaped by jumping out of a second-floor window, and later was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center to be treated for head and facial injuries, police said. She has been released, police said. Her name was not disclosed.
Mr. Agreda-Rodriguez was arrested Monday at his apartment on Green Street, only a few doors down and across the street from the scene of the alleged assault. As of Wednesday, he remains held at the Mercer County Correction Center on $15,000 bail.
Police said he is undocumented, but it was not immediately clear if he faces deportation if he pleads guilty or is found guilty of the offenses with which he was charged. His country of origin was not immediately available.
The story originally had a sensational flair and raised alarm, as the woman first reported that she was attacked as she was walking north on Witherspoon Street near Green Street around 9:45 p.m. Friday. In the first version of the story she told police, Mr. Agreda-Rodriguez allegedly approached her from behind, struck her and took her to the vacant house.
“She was not abducted,” police Chief Nicholas K. Sutter said Wednesday.
In terms of why the story changed, he raised that she was “obviously traumatized” by the ordeal. She was not sexually assaulted, and no weapon was involved, he said. She has not been charged with giving false statements to police.
The previous owner of record for the vacant house is Accredited Home Lenders LLC, based out of San Diego, California, according to municipal tax records. The company is no longer in business.
Neighbors on Green Street had little information about Friday’s incident. That part of town is home to large numbers of undocumented immigrants from Central America, in a community that is one of many sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants around the country. Those communities have come under criticism, in what is a sensitive issue for local officials.
“It will fuel the fire of those who think we shouldn’t be a sanctuary city,” Councilwoman Jo S. Butler said Wednesday of this latest incident. “I feel confident that the police will comply with all the necessary laws.”

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