PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A 23-year-old Pawtucket man is facing numerous charges after police said he punched an officer in the head and physically assaulted another.
According to Pawtucket police, an officer on patrol near The Met on Main Street noticed a large group of people leaving the venue just after 1 a.m on Friday. After officers cleared vehicles stopped in the roadway, police said they noticed a group of about 12 men fighting in a nearby parking lot.
Officer Matthew Mello attempted to arrest an unidentified man who was assaulting others in the parking lot, when police said Aderito Andrade, 23, ran up to Mello and punched him in the side of the head. Police said Mello lost consciousness for a short period of time, suffered a cut to his lip, a cut to the back of his head, and bruising on his face. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital and later released.
Shortly after the assault, Andrade ran from the scene, and was eventually arrested by a second officer. Andrade reportedly assaulted the second officer while resisting arrest.
Police said during the officers’ struggle to arrest Andrade, a large group of people surrounded the officers and began yelling obscenities. A third officer was kicked several times by men in the group. Police then sprayed the crowd with pepper spray, causing them to disperse.
Andrade was was arraigned and charged with assault of police officers, simple assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. His bail was initially set at $10,000 with surety, before he was ordered held without bail as a probation violator.
The man Officer Mello attempted to arrest before the assault has not yet been identified.
Nearby residents said they were shocked that a melee like that happened in their area.
“It’s usually quiet, not a lot of commotion,” said Christopher Jaycox. “It kind of surprises me because usually the security here, they like to keep it down to not disturb the people around here, so to hear that is just crazy.”
Police said they’re searching for additional suspects in the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pawtucket Police Department at (401) 727-9100 and ask for either Det. Cute (ext. 818) or Det. Cardente (ext. 769).