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Merrimack Valley

October 4, 2012

Bouncer pleads guilty to attacking Lantigua foe

LAWRENCE — A six-foot-eight bouncer who worked at a Broadway nightclub pleaded guilty this week to attacking a man in a fried chicken restaurant adjoining the club while allegedly threatening to kill him for snitching on Mayor William Lantigua.

The bouncer, David Figueroa, 26, initially pleaded not guilty to assault and witness intimidation charges in connection with the attack against Antonio Arevalo, which was recorded by the restaurant’s security camera and by the voice mail of an Eagle-Tribune reporter Arevalo called as the attack was underway.

On Tuesday, after a jury had been empaneled and his trial was scheduled to begin in Lawrence District Court, Figueroa pleaded guilty to the assault, which left Arevalo with a broken arm. The witness intimidation charge was dismissed earlier.

Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday. Figueroa’s lawyer Alexander Cain is seeking a 60-day sentence, equaling the time Figueroa served when a judge revoked the $2,500 bail Figueroa posted after the April 30, 2011, attack. If granted, Figueroa likely would serve no additional time.

Prosecutor Beth McCarthy is seeking a one-year sentence with six months to be served.

In January 2011, four months before the attack, Arevalo unsuccessfully sought a restraining order against Lantigua, telling a District Court judge that an earlier confrontation with the mayor in a downtown nightclub left him fearful for his safety.

The court declined to issue the restraining order. Arevalo then sought another restraining order against Patrick Blanchette, Lantigua’s director of economic development. That also was denied.

Arevalo, a 45-year-old Spanish language translator, is an outspoken political opponent of Lantigua’s and often observed and chronicled the mayor’s visits to local nightclubs and restaurants, sometimes at close range. He told police he believed the attack against him was motivated by his opposition to Lantigua, an account that appeared to be supported by the cell phone recording Arevalo left on the Eagle-Tribune voice mail at the time of the attack at 4 a.m.

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