Owner of tree company involved in fatal accident charged with domestic assault

The owner of a tree-cutting company that suffered a fatal accident in town April 14 has been arrested on unrelated domestic violence charges dating back to late 2017.

Police Lt. Keith Golding confirmed that Marcelo Meirelles, 60, of Trumbull, owned the company that was removing a tree on Pinewood Trail when 28-year-old Eris Banegas-Gomes fell 45 feet to the ground. Police said he was wearing a safety harness when the tree broke off at its base and fell with Banegas-Gomes still attached. He later died of his injuries.

Officers investigating the incident interviewed Meirelles, who is listed as the owner of Marcelo's Tree Removal, and discovered that he was a suspect in a 2017 incident in which a family member said a verbal argument escalated until Meirelles choked her, then left before police arrived.

Meirelles was arrested April 14, about four hours after the accident, and has been charged with third-degree strangulation and disorderly conduct. Bond was $10,000 for court April 16.