Habitual offender allegedly assaulted girlfriend


A habitual offender who is on probation was arrested Thursday night in Garapan for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, despite a court order that prohibits him from having any contact with her.

Police detectives found 29-year-old Michael Jordan Palacios Cabrera hiding behind a water heater during a search at the home of an owner of a car rental company.

A witness, who was then driving along Fuetsa Loop on Navy Hill in the afternoon of May 18, saw a woman sitting on the roadside, crying. Her hair was messy and her face had blood. The witness stated that the woman appeared to be traumatized as she was shaking and kept asking him to take her away from Cabrera. The woman was later identified as Cabrera’s girlfriend.

Last Thursday night, police detectives, acting on information about Cabrera’s whereabouts, served him with an arrest warrant issued by Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio on charges of contempt, violating an order for protection, disturbing the peace, and assault and battery.

At a hearing last Friday afternoon, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho imposed a $10,000 cash bail on Cabrera and set the preliminary hearing for May 31 at 1:30pm.

According to police, a police officer responded last May 18 at 1:12pm to a reported disturbance at the lighthouse on Navy Hill.

Upon arriving at the lighthouse, the officer met with Cabrera’s girlfriend, who had watery eyes and had bloodstains on her white shirt and arms.

The girlfriend told the police that she asked Cabrera to drop her home, but instead he took her to the lighthouse. She stated that she tried to run away but Cabrera chased her. She screamed for help but he caught her, covered her mouth, and stuck his fingers in her mouth. She bit him and continued to scream for help. A passing car stopped at the commotion. The witness, who later called the police, stated that when he stopped, she ran to his car. The woman got in his car and pleaded with him to take her away because she does not want to be near Cabrera.

Cabrera followed her to the car and repeatedly asked her to get out. The witness then called the police as other bystanders came.

Last May 16, Cabrera’s uncle, who was serving as a third-party custodian for the suspect in a prior criminal case, reported to police that Cabrera left the house in violation of the court’s order.

The uncle told police that when he woke up, Cabrera was no longer at the house and only returned last May 19.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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