Fight at Hampton Ponds results in attempted murder charge

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – A Southwick man is facing charges including attempted murder following an altercation on the water at the Hampton Ponds Friday.

City police and firefighters responded to an 8:05 p.m. call from a person who reported that two male parties in different kayaks were fighting each other with oars.

Officer Seth Florek was among several officers who responded and reports that he was told that a man fishing from a kayak had been approached by others and one of the approaching boaters took offense when he was asked to stay away, striking him with a paddle and punching him, causing both boats to spill the occupants into the water.

As a result, Florek reports the second boater, Richard Rovelli, 23, of 43 North Main St., South Hadley, was arrested for assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and vandalizing property.
When Rovelli was arraigned Monday before Judge Philip A. Contant in Westfield District Court, he faced a charge of attempted murder in addition to the two assault and battery charges.

The criminal complaint states “On 6/20/2014 (the defendant) did, by striking victim three times in the head with an oar, punched victim several times, knocked him out of kayak and held victim’s head underwater in an attempt to kill said victim.”

Rovelli was released from police custody on $300 cash bail and, at his arraignment, Contant set bail at $350 pending an Aug. 7 hearing. He was held on a detainer requested by the probation department.

A check of court records reveals that, on March 11, 2014, Rovelli, then of 107 Berkshire Ave., Southwick, submitted to facts sufficient to warrant a guilty finding for a charge of receiving stolen property valued more than $250 brought by Southwick police and was placed on probation for six months.

Media Credit: The Westfield News 

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