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Woonsocket Police Log: WPD Confronts Angry Mob

A look at police activity around the city from Feb. 5 through Feb. 7.

Man and two sons taken into custody after fight

Melvin Torres, 37, of 255 Arnold St. and his two sons, ages 15 and 19 were taken into custody Saturday night after police received several 911 calls reporting a fight at their home. Officer Jamie Martin reports that upon approaching the scene, he saw dozens of people standing around the driveway of the residence and witnessed the elder Torres rapidly approaching Officer Martufi from behind. When Martin grabbed Torres to stop him, the suspect became enraged, cursing at him and challenging him to a fight. Torres screamed at Martin, telling him to get off of his property and several of Torres's friends approached to hold him back.

Gradually, police moved most of the crowd onto the porch of the Arnold Street residence, but Torres was still yelling and calling the officers racists. According to reports by Martin, many in the group were becoming angry and aggressive, pushing officers down the stairs of the porch and yelling at them to leave. When Martin attempted to take Torres into custody, the suspect shoved him down the stairs, but he did not land at the bottom as several more individuals in the party had come up behind the police officer. Martin shot pepper spray at the crowd and continued to struggle with Torres.

Torres's 15 year-old son kicked at Martin, knocking him off his feet. The older son continued to rile the crowd yelling "the police are racist." The father freed himself from the struggle while Martin was down and locked himself in the apartment. Officers obtain the key from building's landlord and took all three into custody. Melvin Torres was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and resisting arrest.     

Woman helps police nab hit and run suspect

Raymond Joseph Brunelle, 25, of 113 Transit St. was arrested on Saturday after hitting two vehicles on Hamlet Avenue and driving away. Witness Leah Diouf watched a teal Toyota Rav4 run into the two cars and followed the Toyota to a parking lot behind 370 North Main St. Diouf saw the suspects enter an apartment building and pointed out the residence to police. Officers asked two men walking out of the building if they had been driving the Rav4. Brunelle immediately admitted to hitting the vehicles and his passengers, Lori Brunelle and Devon King verified that they were inside the Toyota during the hit and run. Raymond Brunelle was charged with failure in duty to stop.

Two youths caught destroying abandoned mill

A fourteen and a fifteen year old boy were taken into custody on Sunday after a neighbor told owner Paul Mathias there were two individuals and sounds of breaking glass inside his building at 84 Fairmount St. The boys found inside admitted to kicking in the rear door, breaking windows and lights, and throwing around metal in the former mill building. Police could not tell how much damage the boys had caused because the empty complex, built in 1910, has been victim of numerous vandals in the past.

Other police activity

Shane Michael Hall, 22, of 65 Progresso Ave. was picked up at 2:02 a.m. on Saturday in front of Dunkin' Donuts on Cumberland Street on a warrant.

Wilfredo Miranda Vasquez, 27, of 698 North Main St. was arrested at at 2:55 a.m. on Saturday for disorderly conduct and vandalism.

Annie Ayabarreno, 22, of 365 East School St. was arrested at on Social Street at 9:04 a.m. on Saturday for a warrant.

Veronica Cherwinski, 29, of 117 Cottage St. was arrested at her home on Saturday at 12:51 p.m. on a warrant.

Jochy Hernandez, 19, of 266 Rockridge Dr. was arrested at 3:50 a.m. on Sunday at 2187 Diamond Hill Road for obstructing an officer in the line of duty.

Joseph Maurice Lacroix, 45, of 68 Park Ave. was arrested at on Sunday for shoplifting.

Robin Guilbault, 41, of 365 Burnside Ave. was arrested at 6:45 p.m. on Monday at for shoplifting.

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