WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – An investigation into alleged incidents of indecent assault and battery led police to the discovery of an unlicensed arsenal of firearms kept unsecured in a Southampton Road apartment which also houses teenaged children.
Det. Anthony Tsatsos reports that detectives went to interview Donald Stenico, 54, at his apartment at Evergreen Manor at 919 Southampton Road after he declined to come to the station for an interview.
He reports that he had learned earlier in his investigation that the man reportedly keeps firearms in the apartment, although a records check revealed that he has neither a current Firearms Identification Card nor a License to Carry Firearms.
When the detectives arrived at his apartment Friday, Stenico admitted them inside where he was promptly asked if there were firearms in the apartment. When he acknowledged that there were guns there, he was asked if they were secure since he would be leaving, under arrest, with the officers.
When he said that the weapons were not secured, the officers asked if they could take them to the station, to secure them, and he agreed.
Tsatsos reports that a “Ruger Mini-14” (described by the manufacturer an autoloading rifle and by Tsatsos as a large capacity rifle) was found in the closet and a “High Point .40 caliber pistol” was found under the bed.
“Neither weapon was secured by a trigger lock. The High Point .40 caliber had a live round in the chamber” Tsatsos wrote in a court document and continued to write “These weapons would be easily accessible to the 16-year-old children that live in the apartment.”
Also found under the bed was “an empty box for a Firestorm .380 pistol” but Stenico did not answer when asked where the pistol was.The ensuing examination of the apartment revealed the gun was “leaning up against the right side of the (suspect’s) recliner.“
“This firearm also had a loaded magazine inserted and there was a round loaded in the chamber” Tsatsos reports.
Also found were dozens of rounds of ammunition for each weapon and a total of nine ammunition magazines.
He reports that his earlier investigation had showed that “Donald Stenico had indecently touched a 15 to 16 year old female on five separate occasions.”
Tsatso alleges that Stenico three times gave the victim “full body massages” in which the victim was “naked from the waist up” and he “touched the victim’s breasts” and, on one occasion, touched them “with his hands and mouth”.
On a separate occasion, Tsatsos reports, “Stenico caused the victim to strip naked at his place of work (Westfield) and stand upon a white five-gallon plastic bucket while he ‘washed’ her entire body with soap, touching her naked (private areas). At no time did the victim consent to this unwanted touching.”
After the interview Friday, Stenico was arrested for five charges of indecent assault and battery on a person 14-years-of-age or older, three charges of improperly storage of a firearm, possession of a large capacity firearm, two charges of possession of a firearm without a FID card, possession of ammunition without a FID card and possession of a large capacity feeding device.
On Saturday morning, a Chester resident posted $5,000 cash bail and Stenico was released from the police station.
He appeared in court as scheduled Monday morning where he was arraigned on four charges of indecent assault and battery on a person 14-years-of-age or older, three charges of improper storage of a firearm, two charges possession of a large capacity firearm or feeding device and three charges of possession of a firearm or ammunition without a FID card.
Assistant District Attorney Magali Montes filed a motion at his arraignment for pretrial detention based on dangerousness.
In an affidavit filed in support of his motion, Montes writes “the defendant touched, on several occasions 3 minors over the age of 14, the contact was sexual in nature.” He also wrote “When the defendant became aware that he was being investigated he went to (a) school” where officers asked him to go home and he complied. There, Montes wrote, “He had a loaded gun next to him when the officers entered his home. unsecured. (sic)”
Judge Philip A. Contant allowed the motion and Stenico was held without right to bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
Media Credit: The Westfield News