West Hartford man accused of harassing Southington resident over religious beliefs hopes to avoid prosecution

Published on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 16:47


SOUTHINGTON - A West Hartford man charged with harassing a Southington resident over their religious beliefs has applied for a program to avoid prosecution. 

Juan Rivera, 24, allegedly followed the victim to a home on Marion Avenue on Aug. 17, flashing his car lights on the way and threatening to “pop” the person once inside the driveway, according to police. Police said he reached behind his back as if he was getting a weapon during the threat.

No weapon was displayed.

Rivera, police allege, also yelled and called the victim a Jehovah’s Witness.

This week in New Britain Superior Court, Rivera applied for a diversionary program that could allow him to keep a clean record. He is due back in court on Jan. 9 to learn if he is eligible for the program and if a judge will grant his application.

According to police, during the altercation outside the Marion Avenue home, the complainant was able to alert others within the residence what was happening, and they came outside. 

Rivera, according to police, left the area in a vehicle. Bristol police stopped him shortly thereafter. Southington police then went to Bristol to continue the investigation, finding Rivera had a pocket knife on him. Police also allege he was intoxicated. 

Rivera faces charges of driving under the influence, driving with intent to harass, second-degree breach of peace, intimidation based on bigotry or bias, second-degree threatening and first-degree reckless endangerment.

No further information has been released, including the relationship between Rivera and the complainant.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 16:47. Updated: Tuesday, 26 November 2019 16:49.