- Tuesday, 3
- Lawrence, MA
told to avoid Lantigua critic 'at all costs'
bouncer charged with breaking the left arm of a vocal critic
of Mayor William Lantigua yesterday described that man,
Antonio Arevalo, "as a danger to himself."
"He is always
causing problems. I have defended him in the past. And tried
to help him," said David Figueroa, 25, who was charged with
assaulting Arevalo, 44, early Saturday morning at a Broadway
fried chicken restaurant.
arraigned yesterday in Lawrence District Court on charges of
assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and intimidating
a witness. He was released on $2,500 bail, which he had
posted at the Lawrence police station Sunday evening.
The bouncer also
denied calling Arevalo a "snitch" or making any reference to
Lantigua during the 4 a.m. incident at Crown Fried Chicken.
recording of a cell phone call Arevalo made to The
Eagle-Tribune as he said Figueroa was returning to the
restaurant after the initial alleged assault, includes the
voice of a man who twice accused Arevalo of being "a
(expletive deleted) snitch." The voice also mentioned
Lantigua by name, but the context is inaudable. Yesterday,
Arevalo said the voice is Figueroa's.
"I don't have a
record," Figueroa, who has a 1-year-old son, told the court
yesterday. "For the first time, this guy just got to me...He
kept saying things to irritate me."
At the request
of prosecutor Jennifer Kunsch, Judge Barbara Pearson
yesterday told Figueroa to avoid any contact with Arevalo.
told Pearson that would be difficult as he "works in a
public place" and Arevalo is "always coming around my area."
worked as a security guard at La Guira, a Broadway
nightclub, for four years, he said.
"I am not
approaching him," Figueroa said in court. Arevalo has said
he chronicles the mayor's visits to nightclubs and
restaurants. He is also involved in a recall effort against
Lantigua and has organized anti-crime vigils.
Figueroa to do everything he can to avoid Arevalo. If an
issues comes up while he's working, Figueroa should call
police, she said.
avoid him at all costs," Pearson said.
appeared in court alone yesterday, although he said he would
be hiring a private attorney to defend him.
Arevalo did not
attend yesterday's arraignment. In interviews and a police
report this weekend, Arevalo said he believes he was
targeted by Figueroa. He said Figueroa called him a "snitch"
and identified him as the man "who took the mayor to court,"
allegedly referring to Arevalo's unsuccessful attempt in
January to get a restraining order against Lantigua.
roughly coincides with the events that can be heard in a
phone call Arevalo made to The Eagle-Tribune early Sunday
morning - a call that Arevalo said he made as Figueroa
returned to the restaurant looking for him a second time.
The call is time-stamped 4 a.m., coinciding with the time in
the police report. The newspaper retrieved the call for the
first time yesterday.
In it, Arevalo
addresses his alleged attacker as "Angel" because he said he
did not know Figueroa's name at the time. He said he held
the phone up to Figueroa as a last defense, telling him that
police were listening at the other end of the call.
because I have the state police right here on the line,"
Arevalo tells the man he said is Figueroa as he begins the
call to the voice mail assigned to Eagle-Tribune reporter
The other voice
responds, "I'll (expletive deleted) you up again."
deleted) snitch," the man shouts. "That's what he is — a
(expletive deleted) snitch."
"He's the one
who had the . . .," the voice goes on, then becomes
inaudable for a few words, and finally ends with "Lantigua."
In the attack
before the phone call, Arevalo's arm was broken in two
Figueroa tried to run him down with a minivan, Arevalo said.
Figueroa is 6
feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 378 pounds - making him more
than a foot taller and 225 pounds heavier than Arevalo.
But Figueroa, in
an interview after his arraignment yesterday, said Arevalo
repeatedly bothered him Saturday morning. A fight broke out
between two women and a man that Figueroa was trying to
handle. Arevalo suddenly broken out a camera and started
taking pictures of the three parties fighting.
Figueroa said he
repeatedly "told him to stop taking pictures."
"But he didn't
want to listen," he said. He said he never called Arevalo a
"snitch" but rather asked him "Do you want to snitch on me?"
also adamant that he never touched Arevalo's arm.
He is due back
in court on June 17.