Series of infractions ends with jail term

WESTFIELD – A young city man who has been involved in a series of bizarre incidents over the past summer has been sentenced to a two-year term in the Hampden County House of Correction for charges of assault and battery and open and gross lewdness but those charges represent only the last of a string of incidents instigated by the man between June and August.
Anthony Velez, 26, of no fixed address, came to the attention of city police on June 5 when a complainant reported to police that she had seen a young man who was walking through a supermarket parking lot on Main Street pause and kick the rear of her vehicle.
The suspect had left the area when police responded to her call but the woman contacted police again a short time later and said that she had seen an officer talking on Meadow Street with the man who had damaged her car.
Officer Kevin Bard had responded to a complaint of a man yelling and creating a disturbance on Meadow Street and had been resolving that issue with Velez when the victim saw them.
Velez was arrested for malicious destruction of property valued more than $250 and was released on his personal recognizance after he was arraigned in Westfield District Court.
Velez next came to the attention of police on July 30 when he was found to be the suspect in three unusual incidents which were reported to police.
First, an Orange Street resident reported that a man who had stopped at her tag sale had intentionally smashed a glass candy dish and shortly thereafter a man flagged down an officer on Franklin Street to report he had been walking on a Franklin Street sidewalk when an unknown man walking in the opposite direction while talking to himself has suddenly punched his head.
A short time later, a 15-year-old girl said she had said hello to Velez as she walked past him and the man had thrown a brick at her, striking her back.
Velez was arrested then, on charges of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and held in lieu of $500 cash bail after he was arraigned on Aug. 1.
He pleaded guilty when he appeared before Judge Paul Vrabel in Westfield District Court on Aug. 25 and was sentenced to the time he had served, 25 days, while awaiting trial for the three charges.
Velez’s most recent sentence, two years in the house of correction, was imposed for charges of assault and battery and open and gross lewdness stemming from an incident in a Main Street parking lot on the evening of Aug. 31, six days after he had been released.
On that day, a woman called police to report that she and her 14-year-old daughter had been loading groceries into her car when a strange man rushed up to their car, yelling at the girl.
Officer Scott Phelon responded to the call and found Velez near the car. Phelon reports Velez immediately took a prone position, without being instructed to, when he saw the officer.
The woman said Velez had pushed her daughter who took refuge in the car. She said that Velez first lunged into the car after the girl and then stepped back, lowering his trousers and underwear to expose his genitalia.
The girl said that she saw the man dropping his trousers but the lower half of his body was masked from view by the vehicle’s door.
Velez was arrested then on charges of assault and battery, open and gross lewdness, disorderly conduct and accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex.
He was held without right to bail.
Velez pleaded guilty to the four charges on Nov. 7 when he appeared in Westfield District Court before Judge Philip Contant.
Contant sentenced him to concurrent two-year terms in the house of correction for the charges of assault and battery and open and gross lewdness. He was ordered to serve one year direct, with credit for time served awaiting trial since Aug. 31, with the balance suspended. Upon his release, he will be on probation until Feb. 7, 2014. He was also assessed $90 for the lewdness charge.
Contant also sentenced Velez to a six month term, to be served concurrently with the other two terms, for the charge of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex.
No sentence was imposed for the charge of disorderly conduct.

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