There are some things a bride should never have to endure at her wedding reception. Being beaten with brass knuckles and dragged around by a pit bull is probably near the top of the list.
Unfortunately for 22-year-old Brittany Cortez of Denver, CO, that is what happened to her this Sunday, when a mentally troubled childhood friend who Cortez had only invited to her wedding out of fear decided to vindicate that fear by attacking her.
"The whole time he just stood there and laughed," Cortez recalled in an interview with Denver's ABC 7 News. "He let that dog drag me around the street like a rag doll. He punched me in the face and the back of the head with brass knuckles."
The culprit in this bizarre and apparently unmotivated crime is 31-year-old Joel Nevarez. And if reports are accurate, Nevarez truly is a nasty piece of work. His own family is terrified of him, and he was recently released from a mental hospital. Even his own sister keeps a gun next to her bed in case he shows up.
But even so, his attack on Cortez is especially bizarre, because not only has Cortez done nothing to hurt her former friend, but in fact she has done the opposite. Specifically, she cared for him after his release from the mental hospital. Yet still, for no reason that anyone has disclosed, Nevarez decided to attack his benefactor.
"How could he do this to me?" Cortez has asked.
ABC 7 News has these details on the attack:
Police said the attack happened about 1 a.m. Sunday as the newlyweds celebrated at a Williams Street home in Denver.
Brittany's new husband, Jorge Cortez-Trinidad, told police he was inside the house when he heard Brittany screaming and crying outside.
Cortez-Trinidad said he rushed out to see Nevarez's pit bull mix dragging Brittany by her hair on the ground as Nevarez punched her with brass knuckles, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The dog "wouldn't let go of me, just started dragging me back and forth while everybody at my party kicked the dog to get it off," Brittany Cortez said.
Cortez-Trinidad said he was struggling to pry the dog off his bride when the dog began biting her back, the affidavit said. The groom began punching the dog and it turned and began biting him.
The dog has been seized and is now being held by police. Nevarez, however, has escaped. Police suspect he may be hiding in Mexico, where a portion of his family lives.
Cortez has speculated that Nevarez's motive could be jealousy against her for having a life that has turned out alright, which he has conspicuously failed to achieve.
"I deserve so much more on my wedding. 'I did everything for you and in return. You have a dog attack me,'" she said to ABC 7 News, explaining what she would say to Nevarez.