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April 30, 2014

Boston man sentenced for vandalizing Lantigua's pick-up

LAWRENCE — An East Boston man who vandalized former Mayor William Lantigua’s pickup truck in August has been ordered to pay the $2,500 repair bill and to stay away from Lantigua, adding another chapter to the bizarre history the two men share.

Antonio Arevalo, 47, admitted to pouring rock salt in the gas tank of Lantigua’s 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche — well-known in the city for the “MAYOR” license plates it still bears — and stuffing lottery tickets in its exhaust pipe while it was parked outside Bali’s bar and restaurant on Essex Street on March 29, 2013.

Arevalo admitted to police shortly after the attack that he also threw garbage onto the truck’s flatbed and stuck a broom stick in the driver’s door handle. He described the vandalism to police as “a childish prank,” according a police report.

Detectives obtained surveillance videos from area business that showed Arevalo in the area when the truck was damaged. He confessed when they confronted him with the videos.

On Monday in Lawrence District Court, Arevalo pleaded to sufficient facts, meaning he believed prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of the attack on the truck. His case was continued without a finding for six months, when the charges would be dropped in if he commits no other violations.

Prosecutors subpoenaed Lantigua to testify at Arevalo’s trial, but the plea bargain made it unnecessary for the former mayor to attend Monday’s court session.

“He’s happy that Mr. Arevalo has been ordered to stay away,” Lantigua’s lawyer, Adamo Lanza, said yesterday. “That’s what he cared about the most. He’s happy that justice has been done in that way.”

“It is what it is,” Arevalo said. “I did what I did. I apologized to the judge but I didn’t apologize to Lantigua.”

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