Police: Man beaten over alleged gang ties

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BRATTLEBORO — A 19-year-old local man is being held on $10,000 bail, accused of aggravated assault and interference with emergency services for his part in the assault of an 18-year-old Brattleboro man on Wednesday morning.

According to an affidavit filed by Officer Ryan Washburn of the Brattleboro Police Department, the officer met with the victim at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where he was being treated for the injuries he received.

The victim told Washburn he had spent the night with his girlfriend in her apartment at 59 Main St. when, around 10:30 a.m., three men entered the apartment.

The victim identified one of the men as "SS," which Washburn wrote he knew as Bobby Bethune.

The victim told Washburn the three men were talking with his girlfriend in the kitchen "and he could tell something was wrong."

When the victim attempted to leave the apartment, one of the men punched him in the face. The victim said the man displayed a .30 caliber handgun before hitting him with it approximately 15 times "all over his body."

Another man struck him with a crowbar five to seven times, again, all over his body.

The victim told Washburn he collapsed on a mattress on the living room floor when Bethune kicked him in the head about eight times.

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After the three men beat up the victim, they took his phone and made him clean himself up.

"[The victim] stated he believes this happened because his family is affiliated with a gang ..." wrote Washburn. "[T]hey call their gang 'murder,' which is Blood gang set."

The victim's girlfriend also told Washburn "that this whole thing was over some sort of gang affiliation."

Bethune was located a short time later and taken into custody. He waived his Miranda rights and told Washburn he didn't touch the victim, though the others used their fists on him because "he was claiming he was a Blood gang member."

Bethune said they jumped the victim "to teach him a lesson."

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Bethune, originally from New Jersey, has been "couch surfing" in Brattleboro and has no fixed place of residence, said a source familiar with the investigation.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.


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