Dealership workers charged with threatening customer

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — Police have brought criminal charges against the owner and an employee of a Westport car dealership after receiving more than two dozen complaints from customers.

F&R Auto Sales made headlines in January after a video of employees berating a pizza delivery driver surfaced online, inciting backlash against the company.

Owner Francis R. Correiro and employee Mark Dambrosca are now charged in connection with a separate incident involving a customer, according to police.

The female Westport resident told police she purchased a car from the company, which failed to pass a safety inspection. When she contacted them about it, employees allegedly chastised her verbally, used profanities, made a sexual comment to her and threatened to punch her in the face if she showed up in person.

Correiro, 49, of Assonet, and Dambrosca, 47, of New Bedford, were both charged with threats to do bodily harm and intimidation of a witness as a result of the investigation.

Westport police said they’ve received approximately 26 reports of dissatisfied customers of the State Road business over the past year. They tell us these calls have included “allegations of store employees forging car documents, numerous calls of angry customers, employees refusing to fix alleged broken vehicles, arguments between employees, irate former employees, argument between employees taking place in front of customers, employees allegedly harassing a father and his kids over a car being returned, customers afraid to return after being allegedly harassed by employees, and employees threatening customers.”

The Attorney General’s office later confirmed to detectives that customers have made 38 complaints about F&R Auto Sales since 2009. According to police, the Westport Board of Selectmen have also received several dozen complaints over civil matters, including one occasion in which the company had their business license suspended for 30 days for violating its terms.

Police said they contacted the delivery driver during the investigation, but he never filed charges against the employees.

Correiro is scheduled to be arraigned in court May 4, and Dambrosca is scheduled for the following day.

Westport police are asking anyone who has a similar possible criminal complaint against the business to contact them at (508) 636-1122. Any civil issues can be handled by calling the AG’s office consumer protection division at (617) 727-8400.

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