NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A man charged with using a machete to menace neighbors in April now faces new charges of assault.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday, just hours after New Rochelle Police ended a standoff at his home without taking him into custody.READ MORE: De Blasio Says City Prepared For School Staffing Shortages As COVID Vaccine Deadline Approaches
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, on April 12, New Rochelle Police charged 38-year-old Ricardo Morales for entering neighbors’ yards and menacing people with a machete.
Under bail reform, he was released on just a signature.
Ronnie Veltri is his neighbor.
“It’s not very welcoming to see someone like that. You gotta worry about them coming in your yard and doing things, and stuff like that,” Veltri said.
Just hours after Aiello interviewed Veltri on Tuesday, Veltri was himself assaulted – allegedly by Ricardo Morales.
Earlier Tuesday morning, New Rochelle cops responded to Morales’s apartment after neighbors reported him in their yard, swinging two hammers.
“And we were like, ‘What is he doing back there?’ It was early morning, before seven,” said Manuel Lopez.READ MORE: NYPD Investigating Pair Of Deadly Shootings In Queens
Police used a device on a pole to check on Morales after he refused to open his door. Cops eventually decided to leave without taking him into custody.
New Rochelle Police told Aiello there were undercover officers in the neighborhood for much of the day on Tuesday. But those officers were gone by the time of the 7:30 p.m. encounter between Ricardo Morales and his neighbor across the street. Morales allegedly jumped the fence into Veltri’s yard and punched the 71-year-old Vietnam vet.
Aiello asked New Rochelle Police why they didn’t force entry to arrest Morales during the earlier standoff.
“Our plan was to eventually get an arrest warrant, and hoping he would come out during the negotiations, which he didn’t. It did not seem prudent at the time to force our way into his apartment based on all the circumstances of the case,” said Capt. Cosmo Costa.
Before the assault, Veltri said of Morales “He definitely needs help, I can say.”
Situations involving troubled people are seldom easy, including this one.
Veltri was treated at a hospital. His wife told CBS2 his injuries were not serious.MORE NEWS: Police: Man Stabbed In Head With Machete After Argument At Walmart In Kearny, N.J.
Morales faces numerous charges, including felony assault. He’s being held pending an evaluation to determine his competency.