3 arrested for running down Naugatuck man who confronted them over break-ins
NAUGATUCK, CT (WFSB) - Three people were arrested in connection with an attack on a man in Naugatuck who was defending his property from them.
Naugatuck police arrested 24-year-old Dallas Diamond Rodriguez, 23-year-old John Carlos Santos, and 22-year-old TaJay Javon Hunter, all of Hartford.
They said the three suspects left 42-year-old Joel “Brandon” Guth for dead back on July 12.
Around 4:40 a.m., police responded to Alma Street for a report of a person struck by a motor vehicle.
Police said they learned that Guth had left his home to confront suspects who had been trying to burglarize his vehicle. Brandon is a popular landscaper in town.
At the time, a rash of break-ins had been reported throughout Naugatuck.
During the confrontation, Guth was struck by a black vehicle, the driver of which sped away from the scene. Guth was left in the roadway with life-threatening injuries.
Preliminary evidence indicated that the victim was intentionally struck.
“We really wanted to get closure for the family on this,” said Naugatuck Police Officer Danielle Dourette. “It’s going to be a while before he gets back up.”
One of Brandon’s lungs collapsed, and he needed emergency brain surgery. He spent 59 days in the hospital.
On his GoFundMe page, his family said he was released earlier this month and sent to a rehab facility.
His family in July begged police to find his attackers.
“His truck was his livelihood. He had his tools in there. He has his own business. Of course he was going to run out and try and see who was breaking in his truck,” said Cassidy Mucherino, Brandon’s sister.
Police said they used tips and leads from the community to track them down.
Rodriguez was arrested on Wednesday and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, evading responsibility, reckless driving, second-degree larceny, operating a motor vehicle without a license, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, and conspiracy to commit third-degree criminal mischief.
Santos was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, and conspiracy to commit third-degree criminal mischief.
Hunter was already being held at a correctional facility on unrelated charges. He was also charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, and conspiracy to commit third-degree criminal mischief.
What happened to Brandon could have happened to any of us. Witnessing someone stealing your property, committing a crime on your property. The initial reaction may be to confront them, but police say the safest thing to do is stay inside, and call 911.
If there’s any fear for your safety or any pause or anything you can always call us dial 911,” said Dourette.
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