FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - A New Bedford man who officials say took part in the “savage” beating of an unsuspecting victim back in 2019 has been sentenced to serve up to 5.5 years in state prison.
Raul Luna Augusto, 23, pleaded guilty Friday in Fall River Superior Court to an indictment charging him with aggravated assault and battery causing substantial bodily injury, Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced Monday.
Officers responding to a report of a man bleeding heavily in an alleyway at Phillips and Acushnet avenues around 12:40 a.m. on June 2, 2019, discovered a surveillance camera affixed to a building that captured video of a dark-colored Nissan Altima backing into a nearby driveway at 12:36 a.m. before shutting off its lights, the DA’s office said.
The victim enters the frame of the camera at 12:38 a.m. walking toward the back of the driveway about 30 to 40 feet from the side of the car when he and the occupants of the vehicle appear to have a brief conversation.
Augusto and a second rear passenger exited the car and approached the victim quickly, the DA’s office said.
One of them swings and knocks the victim to the ground before they both kick and stomp on the victim’s head, the DA’s office added.
During the beating, the driver and front-seat passenger allegedly exited the car and ran up to the victim, where the passenger also began to kick the victim as the driver circled around them.
The beating ended with a final stomp to the face by the front-seat passenger, which caused the victim’s body to tremble, according to the DA’s office.
The driver allegedly placed the victim’s baseball cap over his face before the four men fled in the vehicle.
Following a further investigation, the DA’s office says the vehicle used during the incident was found at Raul Luna Augusto’s address.
The victim was initially transported to St. Luke’s Hospital for stabilization and then to Rhode Island Hospital.
He suffered cardiac arrest after intubation and had no pulse for four minutes, the DA’s office said.
He suffered multiple complex facial fractures, which required a surgical procedure for repair that included a dozen plates and one implant, the DA’s office added.
The victim is also at risk for impaired vision or blindness due to his injuries.
In addition, he suffered a broken ankle which required surgery.
“I am pleased the defendant was held accountable for his role in the vicious beating of the victim, who could have died from the serious injuries inflicted upon him,” Quinn said. “This case again highlights the importance of video surveillance in solving difficult cases.”
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