BRATTLEBORO -- Two Dover men are accused of assaulting a 67-year-old man Sunday at the Butterfield Commons apartments, leaving the victim's face and head bloody.
Wesley J. Davey, 54, and James Soriano, 64, both of whom reside in the same West Dover apartment complex, entered not guilty pleas to felony burglary and misdemeanor simple assault charges in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division.
Both were released pending further court action and were ordered to abide by conditions of release: Davey can have no alcohol, firearms or deadly weapons, while Soriano is prohibited from having any alcohol.
Also, both men were ordered to stay away from the reported victim in the case.
Dover police Officer Richard Werner said he responded to Butterfield Commons at 10:22 p.m. May 25 and met Sgt. Matthew Murano of the Wilmington Police Department.
In an affidavit, Murano wrote that he saw blood on the floor inside the apartment door, on a small wooden bench and on the living room floor. The victim "was holding a towel to his head, which he removed to show me an approximately 3-inch laceration to the top of his head."
"The laceration was actively bleeding, and (the victim's) face was partially covered in blood," Murano wrote.
In separate affidavit filed by Werner, the victim reported that he had been watching television around 9:30 p.m. when he "heard a loud pounding on my door -- someone actually kicking my door very hard and very persistent.
The man said he "cracked the door a little bit with my foot against it, and I was pushed back." The victim told police that Davey began punching him; Soriano was behind Davey, the man said, carrying what "looked like a stick with a bulb on the end of it."
Soriano struck the victim's head with that object, court documents say.
When contacted by police, Davey said that, earlier in the evening, he was leaving a dinner with Soriano when he "found a disparaging button directed at myself outside my door."
Davey contended that, when he and Soriano went to the victim's apartment to ask about the button, the resident "yelled at me and threatened me, and then struck me twice with a walking stick in the head, briefly knocking me semiconscious."
Werner noted that Davey had blood on his right hand and was bleeding from a cut on his knuckle; Davey contended that was a defensive wound. Another officer noticed alcohol on Davey's breath, the affidavit says.
"Wes showed us where he was hit in the head; however, were unable to see any marks on Wes," Werner wrote.
Davey told police that there is "a lot of history" between the victim and other building tenants. In his affidavit, Werner addressed those issues this way: "It should be noted that the Dover Police have had reported several incidents at Butterfield Commons. However, the police department has not been able to find out who had committed these acts. There is a lot of talking amongst the residents, which creates a lot of difficulty in these cases as no one has any direct information ... just hearsay."
The following day, police attempted to question Soriano but could not do so because he would not waive his Miranda Rights, Werner's affidavit says.
There are several witnesses noted in court documents. A woman who lives near the victim told investigators she heard banging on the man's door and "heard a voice she knows to be Wesley Davey's say, 'You put that in front of my door.'"
Also, a man told police that he "saw Wesley Davey and James Soriano walking from the end of the hallway where (the victim's) apartment is located."
The witness "told me that Wesley was covered in blood and that James was carrying a large stick," Murano's affidavit says.
Both defendants have criminal records, but there are no recent incidents: Davey was convicted in 1989 of disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief in Caledonia County, court records show, while Soriano was convicted of embezzlement, conspiracy to commit larceny and cocaine possession in the early 1970s in New Jersey.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.