Driver charged with assault after incident involving disabled pedestrian in Meriden

Driver charged with assault after incident involving disabled pedestrian in Meriden

reporter photo

MERIDEN — A city man faces charges after police said he assaulted a disabled man that was crossing Pratt Street. 

Richard Pulcinella, 47, of 20 Federal St., was charged Feb. 11 with two counts of second-degree assault, third-degree assault, breach of peace, second-degree assault of a disabled person and interfering with police. 

On Feb. 11 around 3:40 p.m. police responded to the area of 290 Pratt St. for a report of an assault in progress. Officers saw a group of people standing in the middle of the street and noticed one man was bleeding from his head, according to police reports. Pulcinella, who was in a car parked nearby, began shouting at the injured man, the report said.

Pulcinella told police he saw the injured man crossing the street with a cane. Pulcinella said he believed the man was disabled and gave him space to cross the street, but the man threw something at Pulcinella’s car, the report said. Pulcinella said when he got out of his car, the other man walked toward him aggressively. He added he may have hit the man with Pulcinella’s own cane, claiming self defense. Pulcinella told police he was disabled from Lyme disease, the report said. Later he said that the woman at the scene held him down while the injured man beat him.

Witnesses identified Pulcinella as the aggressor, the report said. One woman at the scene had redness and swelling to one of her eyes, and said Pulcinella struck her when she intervened. The injured man said he was crossing the street when a car approached at a high speed, forcing him to jump out of the way. When he raised his arms in frustration, he threw a water bottle he was holding, but not at the car, the report said. The man said the driver stopped, got out and struck him with an object in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. The man, who told police he was disabled from polio, said the driver struck him again and a woman came to help him, the report said.

Pulcinella did not have any visible injuries, the report said. He reported he had pain in his thumb and legs and was transported to the hospital. The other man was also transported to the hospital. 

Pulcinella’s bond was set at $10,000.
Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ