LOWELL -- A 35-year-old Lowell man is probably wishing the man he was riding with early Sunday morning had obeyed the rules of the road.

Vichet Ngeth, of Lowell, was ordered held on a total of $1,000 cash bail at his Lowell District Court arraignment Monday on 2013 charges that include attempted murder for allegedly choking his wife.

Ngeth was arrested at 2:22 a.m. Sunday when the car he was a passenger in was stopped for a traffic violation by Massachusetts State Police Trooper Douglas Dolan who was on routine patrol on Dutton Street in Lowell.

After questioning the car's four occupants, Benedicto Pena, 32, of Manchester, N.H., was found in possession of a loaded handgun. Pena, who has an outstanding assault with a dangerous weapon warrant, was charged with: carrying a loaded large-capacity firearm, possession of a firearm in a felony, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, carrying a firearm without a license, a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card.

In Lowell District Court Monday, Pena was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail with a probable-cause hearing scheduled for Sept. 17.

Ngeth, another passenger, was arrested on two outstanding warrants: a May 12, 2013, case where he is charged with assault and vandalism; and June 9, 2013, charges of attempted murder, breaking and entering, intimidation of a witness and vandalism.


Prosecutor Andrew Eichner asked for bail on each case noting the victim in both cases was Ngeth's wife.

But defense attorney Keren Goldenberg said both these incidents allegedly occurred more than a year ago and things have changed for the couple since then. Ngeth's wife told the judge she is not afraid of her husband.

Eichner said that at 7 a.m. on May 12, 2013, Lowell police were dispatched to the couple's home where the wife indicated she and her husband had a "tumultuous relationship."

During this incident, police allege the wife said she was out with friends, came home after several hours to angry accusations that she was seeing other men. When she went into the bedroom with their son, Ngeth allegedly kicked in the door causing her to be "beyond scared," Eichner said.

In the June 9, 2013, incident, Eichner alleges the wife told police she and her husband were living apart for several months, but she awoke at 8 a.m. to find he had pushed in her air conditioner to break into the apartment.

She awoke to him straddling her and choking her, police allege. The wife was finally able to force Ngeth off of her, but he continued to accuse her of cheating on him, police allege. She tried to use her cellphone to call police, but he grabbed it and threw it. She was finally able to use the house phone to call police. All this happened in front of their young son, Eichner said.

Eichner noted Ngeth has a three-page criminal record with 13 convictions and a prior conviction for assault and battery.

"This is a pattern of violence against the same individual," Eichner said.

Ngeth's next court date is Sept. 17.

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