BRATTLEBORO -- A 19-year-old man is being treated for serious injuries at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after being stabbed multiple times on Elliot Street Friday morning, according to Brattleboro Police.
Windham County Deputy State's Attorney Steve Brown said information he got in court on Friday indicated the victim, Darrell Miller, is in critical care following an early morning altercation.
Shortly after responding to the scene at approximately 1:30 a.m., police arrested Wilfredo Leyro, 30, of Greenfield, Mass., on suspicion of the stabbing, during a motor vehicle stop.
Leyro was arraigned in Windham Superior Court: Criminal Division and charged with aggravated assault. According to Brown, Leyro was ordered held without bail. He could not comment on whether there were any other charges.
According to police, Officer Adam Petlock responded to the area of the Brattleboro Central Fire Station where he found Miller with multiple stab wounds.
The victim was brought to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where his injuries were deemed serious, and then transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock due to the extent of the injuries. The affidavit says Miller suffered three stab wounds - one 2-inches deep on the left part of his chest, one 1.5-inches deep "on his right posterior back and on his left groin."
Petlock reported that he got a statement from Miller.
He said Miller told him he was walking on Elliot Street when a van and
Miller said the Hispanic male struck him so he hit him back. He said the man was swinging at him and then fell back onto the sidewalk, at which point Miller jumped on him before feeling pain in his left side and groin. He said he punched the subject in the face and got up, realizing he had been stabbed.
Petlock said he found a broken pool stick from the parking lot in front of the fire station. He said he also recovered a pair of eye glasses and a piece of a necklace on the sidewalk across the street from the lot.
The officer also spoke with Bernard Jacobs, who said he had been walking on Elliot Street with his son, Christian Martinez, and Miller. Jacobs told Petlock a van and what appeared to be a black Chevrolet Impala pulled up in front of the fire station and two men got out of the vehicles. He said a taller, white man exited the Impala while a shorter, Hispanic man wearing a cranberry-colored sweatshirt got out of the van.
Jacobs said the white man came at Martinez with what appeared to be a baseball bat, which broke when Jacobs intervened. He said before he knew what was going on, the subjects had left and Miller had been stabbed. Jacobs said the Hispanic man must have been the one who stabbed Miller.
Martinez told Petlock that he, Miller and Jacobs left a bar and started walking down Elliot Street. He said Jacobs had been involved in a dispute with the tall white man. He said the man then left and he heard the sound of tires screeching as the subject pulled away in a vehicle before noticing that Miller had been stabbed.
In a supplemental affidavit, Brattleboro Sgt. Penny Witherbee reported she heard tires squealing while she was on duty at 1:25 a.m. She said this happened multiple more times over the following two minutes and she started hearing loud yells. She exited her cruiser, determined the noise was probably coming from Main Street and requested other officers to assist her.
While making her way to Main Street she heard from dispatch that the occupants of a purple minivan were possibly intoxicated and had been harassing some people. She reported noticing a purple van making a left turn onto Birge Street at the intersection of Main and Canal streets. She stopped the vehicle on suspicion of an intoxicated driver.
The van did not stop and increased its speed on its way toward New Hampshire. Witherbee said she pulled the vehicle over after the first bridge to Hinsdale, N.H., and requested an officer from the Hinsdale Police Department to assist. Brattleboro Sgt. Chad Emery responded to the scene.
Witherbee approached the vehicle and identified Leyro as the operator and Kattie Russ, 27, as the passenger. She said Leyro had blood on his bottom lip, nose and left knuckles.
Leyro and Russ said Leyro was jumped on Elliot Street.
"They thought I said something wrong in a negative way and I didn't,"
Leyro reportedly told Witherbee. "They just punched me in the face and I took off to the van."
Russ said Martinez and "his boys" punched Leyro. She said there were about 15 people with Martinez and they hit Leyro and his friend.
Leyro told Witherbee he took one hit and fell to the ground, before curling into a ball and sustaining several more hits. Russ said the altercation happened on Elliot Street but Leyro said it was next to McNeils. Witherbee asked Leyro where he friend went and he said he didn't know. He told Witherbee his friend's name is Tony Davis and he drives a black 2011 Chevy Impala.
While speaking with Leyro and Russ, Witherbee received from dispatch a report of a stabbing on Elliot Street. She asked Leyro if he had any knives on his person and he said he did not. When she asked if there were any knives in the van, he said he wasn't sure but then said there was one in the back of the van.
"I was protecting myself. I got jumped and I swung," he told Witherbee.
Leyro said he was on the ground and was not sure if his knife cut anyone. He told the officer his face and testicles had been stomped on and he had a wiggly tooth because he had been hit. He said he feared for his life and defended himself.
Leyro told Witherbee he blocked his face and reached for his knife in his front right pocket to hold it in his hand to punch someone if he had to. He said the knife may have popped open and may have caught somebody.
Witherbee reported talking to Leyro about the knife and he showed her where it was in the van. Witherbee described it as being on the floor behind the front passenger seat. She said she noticed a red handle in a closed position. Witherbee asked Leyro if it was the knife he had on him and he said it was. Leyro then provided Witherbee with verbal permission to remove the knife from the van, which she did and secured as evidence.
Russ provided a written statement to police. She wrote that she and Leyro left a bar on Main Street and began walking on Elliot Street to get to her house, which is on Central Street. She said three males started yelling and swearing and she and Leyro tried to avoid them.
According to Russ, 12 to 15 people came out of nowhere. She reported that both her friends were bleeding and they got into their vehicles and drove to New Hampshire.
Police said the investigation was ongoing and that further arrests were expected.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.