The Everett man that pulled a knife and stabbed a Chelsea resident who refused his request for spare change will serve up to seven years in state prison.
Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Nick Walsh recommended that Manuel Arzola, 43, of Everett serve six to eight years for his conviction on a count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon followed by three years of probation for his conviction on a count of assault and battery. Walsh recommended that Arzola be ordered to stay away from the victim, complete an anger management program, undergo an evaluation for drug dependence, take part in any treatment deemed necessary, and submit to random urine screens.
Arzola had additionally been charged with armed robbery; jurors acquitted him of that charge when they delivered their verdicts on March 23rd.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly sentenced Arzola to a term of five to seven years in prison and the probationary sentence and conditions recommended by Walsh.
“The thing that bothers me is that there’s so much violence in his record,” Connolly said, noting that Arzola had been the subject of nine civil restraining orders.
Prosecutors say the victim, a 28-year-old man, was walking in Chelsea’s Bellingham Square at shortly after midnight on August 23, 2010, when he passed Arzola on the steps of Bunker Hill Community College. Arzola allegedly asked him for spare change or a cigarette.
“I don’t have anything,” the victim said.
Arzola followed the victim to the area of Fifth and Chestnut streets, where he pushed the victim to the ground from behind. Arzola demanded the victim’s wallet and began slashing at him with a knife. Arzola eventually connected with the victim’s right shoulder and neck, injuring him. The victim gave Arzola his wallet, his iPhone, and a phony PIN number to get the man off of him.
After the assailant fled, the victim sought treatment from Chelsea firefighters at a nearby firehouse. He was transported from there to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was treated.
Based on a description given by the victim, responding Chelsea Police began searching for a Hispanic male between 5’10” and 6’ tall with a heavy build wearing a gray shirt and dark jeans. When officers spotted a man by that description on nearby Walnut Street, they approached and asked him his name. He identified himself as Arzola, and officers realized he was the subject of active warrants out of New Bedford for assault-related offenses. Arzola was arrested at the scene on the warrants.
Back at the police station, officers noticed a large blood stain on his shirt but no discernible injuries. The shirt was seized; after testing by the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory, the blood was determined to come from the victim. The victim later identified Arzola through a photo array as the man who attacked him. The victim’s belongings were not recovered.