SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Police in Springfield have arrested two teens who they say beat and robbed a homeless man, and then jumped him again a short time later in a different place.
Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Anthony Rivera and Jonathan Cotto, both 17 year-old city residents, face charges including armed robbery and assault and battery in connection with the incidents downtown early Wednesday morning.
According to Delaney, just after midnight, a homeless man was sitting on a bench at Riverfront Park, when he was approached by two Hispanic men, who began punching and hitting him repeatedly. One of the men pulled out a knife and demanded his belongings. The thieves made off with the man’s shoes, a backpack, and some other personal items before running away.
The victim went over to State and Main Street, where he called the police, but he refused to receive any medical treatment, and he told police that he did not want to file a complaint.
Officers started searching the area anyway, but the victim was jumped by the same two again near Gridiron Street. The two allegedly threatened the victim and told him not to call the police again.
A short time later, officers spotted Rivera and Cotto in the parking lot of the Pride gas station, where Delaney says the two had just shoplifted cookies from the convenience store.
Delaney says that one of the suspects was carrying a large knife, and the victim identified Rivera and Cotto as the ones who had jumped him.
In addition to the robbery and assault and battery charges, the suspects are also charged with intimidating a witness and shoplifting. They will be arraigned Wednesday in Springfield District Court. Rivera had an outstanding warrant on burglary charges.
Delaney says that police are now trying to link the two suspects with a robbery of a fisherman at Riverfront Park on Monday morning.