Court records for the four men who took part in the violent assault of two employees of a South Windsor auto shop on Jan. 8 paint a grisly scene that could have escalated to the shooting of at least one of the victims, according to published reports.
Nathaniel Chambers, Jose Luis Ramos, Luis Miguel Ruiz and Francisco Gabriel Ruiz - all of Meriden - were arrested in connection with the assaults on Forced Induction Motorsports owner Robert Lareau and employee Ryan Kelleher.
Both Lareau and Kelleher were hospitalized. Kelleher, who sustained head injuries, was released within a few days of the incident, while Lareau’s head injuries were far more severe.
Lareau was released from Hartford Hospital Tuesday and is now at a nursing home in East Hartford.
The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer reported that two of the suspects - brothers Luis Miguel Ruiz and Francisco Gabriel Ruiz - said that Chambers hit Lareau with a pipe between 20 and 30 times.
During the assaults, Chambers’ cousin Jose Luis Ramos allegedly took a rifle that Kelleher had at the shop, located two bullets and asked Francisco Ruiz, “Should I do it?” the Courant and Journal Inquirer reported.
Francisco Ruiz told police that he replied, “no,” the Journal Inquirer reported.
The Ruiz brothers told police that Ramos hit Kelleher with the rifle, though Ramos said that Chambers was the one who hit Kelleher.
The Ruiz brothers and Ramos were all in agreement that Chambers repeatedly hit Lareau with a pipe in a dispute over whether Lareau was going to perform work on Chambers’ Mazda RX7 for which Chambers had paid.
According to the Courant and the Journal Inquirer, after the four suspects arrived at the shop on Jan. 8, Chambers eventually sprayed bug spray or brake fluid in Lareau’s face and then began hitting Lareau with a muffler pipe.
Luis Ruiz, according to the Journal Inquirer, said in court records that Chambers would hit Lareau whenever Lareau tried to get up.
Luis Ruiz admitted to police that he hit Lareau in the torso with a baseball bat, according to the Journal Inquirer, but that he did so at Chambers’ command.
Court records say that before the four men left, Chambers ordered the three others to steal items from the shop, according to the Courant.
As they fled, Chambers hit Kelleher with the pipe as well, and Ramos sprayed Kelleher with either the brake fluid or bug spray, according to the Journal Inquirer.
Luis Ruiz was charged with robbery in the first degree, assault in the second degree and larceny in the sixth degree. He was released after posting $60,000 bond.
Francisco Ruiz was charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree and breach of peace. He was released after posting a $10,000 surety bond.
Ramos was charged with assault in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, stealing a firearm, unlawful restraint in the first degree, threatening in the second degree, and larceny in the sixth degree. He was held on $400,000 surety bond.
Last month, Chambers, 27, of Meriden, was charged for his alleged role in the assault. He remains held on $400,000 bond.
Their cases remain pending in Superior Court.
To read the full report from the Courant, visit here.
To read the Journal Inquirer piece, visit here (paid site).