CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake police say a 29-year-old man is accused of trying to kill an unborn child.
The alleged assault happened at the Willow Oaks Apartments on March 22. Police say Anthony Gourdet got into a domestic altercation with a pregnant woman.
The woman told police that Gourdet held her against a wall, choked her, and punched her in the stomach three times after she told him that she’d cheated on him and that the unborn child might not be his, according to court documents.
The woman also told police she thought she’d miscarried her 10-week-old unborn child; however, Chesapeake police confirmed to 10 On Your Side that the baby did not die.
A resident who didn’t want to be identified says she watched the situation unfold.
“I was walking down the hallway; I could see a bunch of police cars in front of that building, maybe 6-8 cars,” the woman said. “A few minutes had passed and I could see the female being brought out on a stretcher. She was put in an ambulance. It’s just been dark over there since, but the police were there quite frequently that first night.”
It’s not clear what may have led up to the assault, but the resident says she wasn’t surprised to hear of the charges. She claims to have overheard this conversation between the couple a few months earlier.
“They were walking together, he was ahead of her, she was behind him and he turned around and was like ‘didn’t you hear what I said to you?’ And he was like ‘no?’ and he was like’ take your (expletive) back home’ and she complied and turned around and went back in the house.”
Police booked Gourdet into jail on April 2 on charges of strangulation, domestic assault and attempted premeditated murder of a fetus.
Gourdet is being held at the Chesapeake jail without bond.
10 on Your Side spoke with Samaritan House, a group that helps victims of violence.
“Violence is cyclical, that it occurs all of the time and I think as a society and as a nation, we are finding our voice and speaking out against violence,” said Katherine Ashford, who is the community engagement coordinator at Samaritan House.
She says people should be on the lookout for red flags, like changes in behavior. “It’s sublte and it’s just a shift in how one person feels. They feel like their partner is on edge all of the time,” she said.
Ashford also recommends people know their local resources – like a 24/7 hotline they staff with a few other local organizations. That number is 757-251-0144. They also have a number to help people who might be experiencing homelessness. That number is 757-587-4202.