Bail set for shooting suspects in I-95 drive-by

Photo courtesy of Rhode Island State Police

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Three men accused firing shots at an innocent man on a Providence highway faced a judge Tuesday.

Rhode Island State Police said Raul Otero, 22, of Pawtucket, Jovani L. Velez, 20, of Central Falls, and Ramon Escotto, 23, of Providence, were in a car on I-95 early Saturday morning when they fired three shots at another car.

The victim was on his way to work when he was fired upon, and police believe the suspects confused him for another man they wanted to shoot.

All three bullets hit the driver’s side door, but the driver was not injured. Detectives said it was an extremely close call, as one of the bullets flew through the door and lodged into the armrest next to the driver.

According to investigators, the suspects crashed their car into a barrier along the highway while firing the shots. All three made a run for it, but were arrested on Orms Street after a K-9 unit sniffed out a semi-automatic gun that the men tried to ditch in some bushes, detectives said.

“Anytime someone fires a gun, the potential is there to kill someone, so it’s very important to catch those people,” said Maj. Todd Catlow.

Otero, Velez, and Escotto were all charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, carrying a pistol without a license, drive-by shooting, carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a crime of violence, alteration of marks of identification on a firearm, and conspiracy.

Bail was set for all three suspects at the arraignment.

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