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Street brawls lead to arrests

August 09, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Dudley District Court arraigned three men in connection with two large brawls Sunday evening and after others in previous days. A fourth man arrested in one of those incidents had his case dismissed.

Southbridge Police Sgt. Carlos Dingui said the incidents are not gang-related, but involved personal disputes that had been building over time. In previous years, he said, higher police staffing and neighborhood foot/bike patrols might have helpead prevent such incidents.

Vontailin Rosario, 20, of 46 Worcester St., his brother Nicholas Rosario, 29, of 9 Windsor Conn., and Scott Smith, 38, of 35 Pleasant St. all pled not guilty to charges of affray, assault with a weapon (four counts each), disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. The younger Rosario was bailed out for $250 with an order to stay away from the alleged victims, while the other two received bail of $750.

According to the police report by Sgt. Gerald Arvelo, he and several other officers responded to "a large disturbance involving weapons" on North Street just before 8:30 p.m. Sunday. More than 75 people were in the road including "numerous children," with many of them "screaming at each other," he wrote.

"[Police] had responded to the area numerous times for disturbances involving people who were reported to be in possession of firearms, in addition to reports of shots being fired and drug offenses," Arvelo wrote. Several of them, he added, allegedly involved Smith who fled the scene, and on Sunday specifically, they responded to three incidents at which they found Nicholas Rosario.

In the North Street fray, Arvelo wrote, it took police 15 minutes to separate the contending parties. The victims — four Hispanic men — claimed they'd been walking home from the police station and did not know Nicholas Rosario lived nearby when they were "confronted" by a group that included the three suspects. Nicholas Rosario and Smith were "positively identified as threatening the subjects with folding knives," he said, noting police found two nearby and saw Smith toss two onto a porch. Vontailin Rosario was "positively identified as threatening them with a baseball bat," and still held it when police arrived, Arvelo added.

The report cited initial claims that someone had been stabbed, but police on the scene found that to be untrue, he wrote.

In court, the three suspects had separate bail attorneys, and all were granted court-appointed lawyers for future proceedings at no fee.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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