Suspect in East Boston assault held on $25K bail

BOSTON (WHDH) - Officials announced Friday that they arrested Michael Bruzzese, 51, for the June 1 assault on a man inside the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation in East Boston.

Police stepped up patrols around the popular park after one man was killed and another injured in separate attacks just a few weeks ago.

According to State Police, both attacks happened within two weeks of each other and happened in the afternoon. They said it appears someone went after 83-year-old Daniel Pepe Memorial Day Weekend. Pepe suffered a serious head injury and died three days later. The same day that man died, police were called back to the park following a report of an assault on a 67-year-old man from Lynn.

Bruzzese allegedly punched the 67-year-old man at the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation on June 1 at around 1:30 p.m. When the victim was able to return to his car, police said he found it had been entered and approximately $250-$300 had been stolen from his wallet inside the car. That victim has non-life threatening injuries and managed to give police a description of his attacker.

Investigators are still trying to figure out if the crimes are connected.

Bruzzese was charged with assault and battery on an elder, unarmed robbery of a person over 60, breaking and entering a vehicle in the daytime, and larceny over $250. According to prosecutors, he is currently serving three years of probation for convictions on charges of possession of burglarious tools and two counts of malicious destruction of property. Police said he has a long history of robberies and burglaries going back to 1981.

Bruzzese was held on $25,000 bail. He is due back in court on July 1.

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