Sexual assault of Sacred Heart student leads to underage drinking crackdown

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BRIDGEPORT – A Bridgeport bar may be shut down after an alleged rape of a Sacred Heart University student last week.

In the wee hours of Wednesday, March 30, at the Golden Star Café in Bridgeport, there was the beginning of a nightmarish encounter.

“A student at Sacred Heart was sexually assaulted, and we can't have that here,” said new Bridgeport Police Chief Armando “AJ” Perez.

The 19-year-old victim thought she and her friends were being picked up by an Uber driver.

Kirsten Cunha, a Sacred Heart freshman who frequently uses Uber’s ride service, says it's easy to confirm whether somebody actually is an Uber driver.

“The phone app does come with a picture of the driver and the type of car,” Cunha says. “So, I will go around outside, look for that type of car and look for the driver to see if it matches his or her face.”

It turns out, the man who's car the Sacred Heart students piled into was 39-year-old Alfonso Reid, of Bridgeport, who had met one of the victim's friends in the bar.

After dropping the rest of group back at the dormitory, just across the street from campus, Reid coaxed the victim back to his car, saying she had forgotten something. That's when, according to the victim, he forced a pill down her throat and took her back to his home, where he allegedly raped her.

As Reid was driving her back to her dormitory, the victim jumped out of the car and hid from Reid.

“In this particular situation the student did reach out to Sacred Heart and we provided transportation back to the campus,” said Paul Healey, executive director of Emergency Management & Public Safety for Sacred Heart.

The university’s Department of Public Safety is making certain students have all of their phone number stored in their mobile devices.

“Our hearts go out to her and her family and just we hope that she can cope with whatever she is dealing with at this time,” said Cory Robinson, a Sacred Heart sophomore.

In light of this incident, which involved underage drinking, the Golden Star Café was raided Tuesday night. Not only were over 80 underage drinkers found inside, two off-duty Bridgeport police officers were found to be moonlighting as bouncers, which is against police regulations.

“Internal affairs conducted an investigation and, as soon as they give me the charges, I will act accordingly,” said Perez, who took over as chief March 1.

Reid, a convicted felon with an attempted murder charge on his rap sheet, was arrested Tuesday. The chief says Golden Star Café will likely be shut down by Friday and that criminal charges could be filed against the owner.