EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 5, 2013

Second man charged in severe beating

Police: Unprovoked attack gave victim life-threatening injuries

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — Two men are now being held without bail in connection with the beating of another man who received life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police said the victim is a 31-year-old Haverhill man. The victim was still in a Boston hospital as of yesterday afternoon. According to the Essex District Attorney’s Office. No other information about his condition was available.

Just a few hours after the alleged attack took place on Friday afternoon near Winter Street, police arrested Rodney McCray, 21, of 13 Dudley St., and charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, disorderly conduct and witness intimidation.

McCray was arraigned on the charges on Tuesday in Haverhill District Court, where he was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Sept. 18. According to a police report, McCray was arrested on Friday at 4 p.m., at the corner of 5th Avenue and Union Street.

Yesterday, 21-year-old Roberto Hilerio of Boston was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Hilerio was arrested on Tuesday at 5:01 p.m., at 13 Dudley St., according to a police report. That address is the home of McCray, the other person charged.

Police said they have identified a third person of interest and that the case is still under investigation by Haverhill police and Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Essex District Attorney’s Office.

At McCray’s hearing on Tuesday and also at Hilerio’s hearing yesterday, Judge Patricia Dowling ordered all police reports be impounded due to concerns for the safety of witnesses. Dowling granted this order at the request of the Essex District Attorney’s Office. Under the order, neither defense lawyers nor investigators hired by the defense may release the names or addresses of witnesses, court officials said.

Police said the victim, whose name is not being released, appeared to have been the target of an unprovoked attack by as many as three men. The incident happened at about 2 p.m. on Friday in an area off Winter Street, close to Little River.

Police said the victim was initially taken to Merrimack Valley Hospital and then flown to a Boston hospital.

Police spokeman Lt. Robert Pistone said that because the victim sustained life-threatening injuries, the State Police were called to help with processing the crime scene on Winter Street along with State Police Investigators assigned to the district attorney’s office.