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Springfield Police arrest kidnapping and sexual assault suspect

A dangerous suspect is in police custody after a thorough investigation in Springfield.
Updated: Apr. 28, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A dangerous suspect is in police custody after a thorough investigation in Springfield. It’s in connection with a sexual assault, as well as a kidnapping, and we’ve learned the suspect has an extensive criminal history.

This suspect is a known criminal with several run-ins with the Springfield Police. Officials told us this current investigation has been ongoing for a few months and they are glad to finally take Neftali Marcial-Matias off the city’s streets.

“Hopefully, he is held for a long time, so he can’t harm anybody else in our community,” said Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh.

A kidnapping and sexual assault suspect is behind bars in Springfield after an investigation by the city’s police department and the U.S. Marshal’s task force. Walsh told us the investigations have been ongoing for a few months.

“There was a few instances where one female was sexually assaulted, another one was kidnapped and held for a certain amount of time in different locations,” Walsh explained.

He said a rape investigation began in February and the kidnapping investigation started in March. On Tuesday morning, officers executed a warrant and found 24-year-old Neftali Marcial-Matias at a house on Genesee Street and took him into custody.

“He’s got a past with open firearms charges, drugs charges, so that’s why, in addition to our warrant apprehension unit, which comprises SPD officers, U.S. Marshal’s task force, and state police, our firearms units went and also located some ghost guns and another firearm there too,” Walsh added.

Walsh told Western Mass News that Marcial-Matias has an extensive criminal history with more than a dozen past convictions, ranging from assault and battery with a dangerous weapon to drug conspiracy to carrying a firearm without a license.

“He’s a known drug dealer and someone who either carries firearms or hangs with people who carry firearms…and he’s kind of been ramping up his actions in the last year or so,” Walsh noted.

Western Mass News stopped by the courthouse in Springfield where we obtained court documents that showed Marcial-Matias is facing numerous charges, including assault and battery on a household member and possession with intent to distribute a class a drug.

“Our firearms investigation unit detectives actually went in yesterday to a different address on Lionel Benoit Road based on a search warrant and were able to recover two additional firearm magazines and additional heroin as well, so there’ll be some more charges tacked on to that,” Walsh added.

Two victims have come forward, but Walsh said there may be more and if so, they’re encouraged to contact the Springfield Police Department’s special victims unit.

Marcial-Matias is scheduled to appear in court for a dangerousness hearing on May 4.