Police: BF man assaults traffic controller twice

Wednesday February 27, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- A local man is facing four misdemeanor charges after allegedly assaulting a man twice in the middle of Atkinson Street on Tuesday morning, according to police.

Donato Carrara, 39, was cited with simple assault, leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of disorderly conduct. He will be arraigned in Windham Superior Court: Criminal Division on Tuesday, March 12, if bail of $1,000 is not met. If bail is posted, Carrara will be arraigned today.

According to Lt. Shane Harris of the Bellows Falls Police Department, authorities received a call about a fight in the middle of Atkinson Street around 11 a.m. Tuesday. He said he, Chief Ron Lake and Cpl. Michael Chesanek were on the scene within seconds, as the police station is down the street. An investigation revealed that Carrara had assaulted the victim -- an employee of Green Mountain Traffic Control working in the middle of the street -- on two occasions that morning. The victim refused medical attention.

Harris said the BFPD canvassed the village and found Carrara in front of 72 Atkinson St., where he was taken into custody. Harris explained the victim was attacked a second time, 10 to 15 minutes after the first incident, while he was waiting for a replacement to take over for him so he could report being assaulted. He called police after the second assault.

Harris said Tuesday afternoon that Carrara was at Springfield Hospital being treated for injuries he assumed Carrara had sustained in the altercations. Lake said Carrara is being held at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

Green Mountain Traffic Control is owned by Deborah Wright, who is also a Bellows Falls Village trustee. She told the Reformer her company controls traffic around areas of utility and construction work. She said the victim was working as a flagger, who is tasked with controlling the flow of vehicles through one lane when the other has been closed off.

Wright said she had four employees working traffic control for Green Mountain Power, which is conducting work on utility poles on Atkinson Street.

Wright said this was not the first time something like has affected her company. She said one of her employees was once shouted at and spit on and the suspect in custody previously had threatened her son, who works for her company. She said her employee was slightly injured but did not require a trip to the hospital.

"We are concerned for the lack of protection while we are out there," she said. "(The suspect) will be a great deal of trouble for us once he is out of police holding. He is considered dangerous."

Lake told the Reformer a mere 47 minutes passed between the emergency call being placed and Carrara being taken into custody following the interviews of a few witnesses.

"I don’t know how we could have done it any quicker," he said.

Wright said it is a tricky scenario because it is essentially a domestic abuse situation in a workplace.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


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