Man is thrown 45 feet off bridge for intervening in couple's argument


Three people face charges after Shelton police said they threw a man off the Shelton/Derby Bridge on Thanksgiving morning.

Police said they arrested 25-year-old Gregory Rottjer of Derby, 27-year-old Matthew Dorso of Ansonia and 22-year-old Jennifer Hannum of Derby.

Investigators said they learned that Rottjer had an argument with his girlfriend, Hannum while walking over the bridge. The victim and his brother tried to see if Hannum was OK and then attempted to walk away.

The victim told police that he told Rottjer to "chill out." But, police said cell phone video shows Rottjer go after the victim who was backing up with his hands in the air.

"He got involved telling him to leave her alone...stated the man became aggressive toward him and they began to fight," the court documents read.

Rottjer and his friend, Dorso, then started a fight with the victim and his brother, according to police. During the fight, Rottjer threw the victim over the bridge, police said.

The victim fell 45 feet into the icy water. When police arrived, the victim was on his back, in the icy water. The victim, who had to be rescued by police, firefighters and EMS personnel, continues to recover from injuries.

Rottjer and Dorso fled the scene with Hannum.

Investigators said not only did they get two pieces of cell phone video showing the incident, but they also found a cell phone that morning belonging to Hannum.

When police turned on the phone, they said there was a text message that stated, "Hi I am the owner of this iPhone, please call me to be returned." The police traced the phone back to Rottjer.

The pictures on the phone along with the cell video of the fight, and nearby surveillance video matched up. When interviewed by police, Rottjer allegedly told them, "I did it. I threw him over the bridge."

According to the arrest warrant, Rottjer told police he started drinking at 4:30 that afternoon and was drunk by the end of the night. But felt the victim disrespected his girlfriend, that's why they started fighting.

Police said over the course of their investigation, Hannum was found to be untruthful with detectives about what happened. Investigators said she lied to officers about the incident that morning and said she didn't know anything about someone being thrown off the bridge.

Police said the three met the day after the incident, in which Dorso said he wouldn't tell anyone about what happened.

Rottjer was charged with criminal attempt at murder, first-degree assault, and first-degree reckless endangerment. He faced a judge on Tuesday in Derby Superior Court. The judge ordered that Rottjer is held on a $250,000 bond and ordered him to be transferred to Part A on Wednesday.

Dorso was charged with third-degree assault and released on a promise to appear in court. Hannum was charged with interfering with an officer and released on a $1,000 bond.

Both Dorso and Hannum are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 22 in Derby.


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