Victim: The man attempted to hold my head under the water

Rovelli was released from police custody on $300 cash bail

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WESTFIELD NEWS) – A South Hadley 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 officer 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 boats bumped his new kayak.

The victim reportedly asked the offending boater to stay away and that paddler complied but another boater took offense, striking him with a paddle and punching him causing both boats to spill the occupants into the water.

The victim said that the assault continued in the water and the other man attempted to hold his head under 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 attempted murder.

Rovelli was arraigned Monday before Judge Philip A. Contant in Westfield District Court and 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.

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