DARIEN, Conn. — A Stamford man who works at the Whole Foods Market in Darien was charged Tuesday with attacking a co-worker and a customer in the store parking lot while high on drugs, police said.
Officers were called to an assault in progress at 2:45 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Whole Foods Market parking lot at 150 Ledge Road, police said.
A group of bystanders were restraining the suspect — who was was combative, acting erratically and screaming incoherently — when officers arrived, police said.
The suspect was identified as store employee Derrick Gonzalez, 27, of 47 Mulberry St., Stamford, police said.
Officers immediately handcuffed and restrained Gonzalez, who then said he couldn’t see anything, police said. Darien EMS and paramedics were called to the scene.
Gonzalez was subsequently sedated by paramedics and later admitted to using marijuana laced with Phencyclidine, or PCP, police said.
Police said the attack began when Gonzalez approached co-worker — a 59 year old Norwalk man — in the parking lot. The victim was collecting shopping carts in the lot when Gonzalez approached him, police said.
The victim told police that Gonzalez grabbed his jacket with one hand and his groin with the other, then forced him to the ground near a pile of rock salt. Gonzalez repeatedly slammed his head into the pile of rock salt, the victim told police.
At that point, a 57-year-old Stamford woman who had just parked her car attempted to intervene and yelled for Gonzalez to get off the victim, police said.
Then, Gonzalez ran toward the woman and attacked her instead, police said. He knocked her to the ground, kicked her in the head, dragged her, jumped on top of her, pulled her hair and slammed her head into the pile of rock salt, police said.
Bystanders then intervened and restrained Gonzalez, and called 911, police said.
Both victims sustained minor injuries and were transported to the hospital for treatment, police said.
During the entire incident, Gonzalez was screaming uncontrollably and continuously resisted officer’s attempts to detain him, police said. He was subsequently transported to the hospital for evaluation, police said.
Police later determined that the first victim is a "protected party" under Connecticut General Statutes.
On Dec. 20, Darien officers applied for and were granted a warrant for Gonzalez’s arrest.
On Jan. 2, officers from the Darien Police Patrol Division, Selective Enforcement Unit, and members of the Stamford Police Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit responded to Gonzalez’s residence and executed the warrant. He was taken into custody without incident.
He was then transported to Darien Police Headquarters and charged with:
- third-degree assault of a blind or disabled person,
- second-degree assault,
- interfering with an officer, and
- breach of peace.
Gonzalez was held on $10,000 bond and for a Jan. 16 appearance in Stamford Superior Court.
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