SKOWHEGAN — A Bridgton man is being held without bail Wednesday at the Somerset County jail in East Madison on a felony assault charge after allegedly punching his pregnant girlfriend in the abdomen and strangling her, police said.

Joshua Phifer, 27, allegedly attacked the woman Tuesday night, according to Skowhegan police Chief Donald Bolduc.

“The victim had strangulation injuries and complained that her boyfriend had assaulted her and held her down,” Bolduc said.

The woman went to the Trinity homeless shelter on McClellan Street after the assault, said Richard Berry, pastor of the Evangelical Free Church, which runs the shelter.

Skowhegan police arrested Phifer at 8 a.m. Wednesday on McClellan Street and took him to jail.

Berry said shelter workers took the woman to the hospital to be examined and said that she would probably return to the shelter. He said Phifer previously stayed at the shelter but was no longer living there.

Investigators determined that Phifer knew the victim was pregnant and arrested him on a charge of elevated aggravated assault on a pregnant person, a class A felony, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. He also was charged with refusing to sign a summons and a complaint.

Skowhegan police Officers Michael Bachelder and Christopher Viera were assisted in the arrest by Mike Pike, the Somerset County domestic violence investigator. Phifer has several criminal convictions, including domestic violence assault, Bolduc said.