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June 8, 2013

No bail for three charged in bloody Methuen melee

METHUEN — Three teens charged in a bloody brawl Thursday morning were held without bail yesterday, including Rafael Buli, 19, who was supposed to graduate from Lawrence High School tomorrow.

Six suspects in total, including three juveniles, were arrested in connection with the melee outside McDonald’s on Route 110 at 12:37 a.m. Three people were seriously injured but are expected to survive, police said. Investigators said a 21/2-foot metal pipe with square edges was used to beat and stab the victims outside the restaurant.

All six suspects were charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Buli, 194 Emmett St., Lawrence, and an unidentified juvenile, were additionally charged with the more serious offense of armed assault and battery with intent to murder.

The three adults will remain behind bars at least until June 12, when a dangerousness hearing will be held in Lawrence District Court. Police said the juveniles were also arraigned yesterday in juvenile court, which is closed to the public.

Prosecutor Kim Gillespie asked that Buli and fellow defendants Reuben Caba, 18, of 382 Haverhill St., Lawrence and Omarlin Padilla, 18, of 121 Camden St., Methuen, be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.

Buli, Caba and Padilla are also charged with disorderly conduct, affray and assault and battery, according to court papers.

Lynette Leos, Buli’s court-appointed defense attorney, argued there are identification issues in the case and pointed to a “defensive wound” on Buli’s right hand, an injury she said he received trying to wield a knife from someone else. Buli, who works at a local car wash, has no prior record, she said.

After the melee Thursday morning, police were able to retrieve security footage from McDonald’s. Leos said that video will be “significant evidence” in the case. She also said “the alleged victims have significant criminal records that outweigh (Buli).”

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