The New London Police Department said cell phone videos and statements by assault victims and other witnesses were used to identify four people arrested in connection with a September brawl at a downtown motorcycle club, according to police affidavits.
The incident left one person with life-threatening stab wounds and three others with serious injuries. Police have arrested two pairs of siblings in connection with the assaults. Juan Baptista Roman, 31, the president of the Wild Style Motorcycle Club, and his brother Jose Antonio Roman Jr., 34, the club’s vice president, have each been charged with first-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon. Police later arrested 22-year-old Robert William Marin and 21-year-old Donte J. Marin on charges of first-degree assault and breach of peace.
The fight was first reported at about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 22 when police received a report of a stabbing victim on Bank Street. Anthony Swift, 26, was found with a five to six inch cut in his abdomen through which his intestines were bulging. Swift later said he suffered a collapsed lung as well. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and later released.
Also injured were 28-year-old Jairo Perez, who suffered several head and facial injuries; Henry Albino, 31, who had lacerations to his face and ear; and Miguel Albino, 33, who suffered a leg injury. Police determined that the injuries resulted from a fight that broke out in the nearby motorcycle club and spilled out into the club’s parking lot and South Water Street.
Detective Keith Crandall said in an affidavit that a witness provided police with three cell phone videos of the assault. Crandall said police were able to identify Jose from prior police contacts and that the videos show him holding a knife and pointing it at a group of people as well as taking part in an assault on Swift. Police also identified Juan as one of Swift’s assailants in the video.
Crandall said Swift told police that Jose took out a knife and held it in a threatening manner after the fight broke out in the club. Swift said Juan started pushing his friend as the friend tried to break up the fight and that Juan cut Swift's face when he intervened to help. Swift said he later confronted Juan about the incident. He said he grabbed Juan after he became confrontational and heard Jose shout, “That’s my brother!” before he was attacked by multiple people.
Crandall said the videos show five men, including Jose and Juan, taking part in the assault on Swift. He said the videos also show several people knocking Perez unconscious, with one throwing rocks at him afterward. Perez told police that Jose had a knife and swung it at someone who was trying to get away.
Police identified Robert from previous contacts as one of Perez’s assailants. Crandall said Robert admitted to taking part in an assault but not the stabbing and identified Donte as another assailant. Crandall said Donte also admitted to assaulting one person.
The affidavits do not indicate what started the fight. Crandall said police did not recover any knives or cutting instruments at the scene, but found damaged jewelry and clothing as well as a pool of blood in the club’s parking lot.
The city has since shut down the club’s New London location following a finding by the zoning enforcement officer that it did not have a proper permit to be at the site.