A man police say physically assaulted a woman in a wheelchair and then verbally intimidated her just a day later has been ordered held without bail.
Emile Perreault, 55, of Cranston, was first arrested on Sept. 20 after allegedly slapping the woman in the face at the bus stop in front of D’Evan Manor at 1214 Cranston St.
Perreault is said to have fled the scene before being located by Officer Wayne DeCosta. He is said to have threatened the officer and engaged in brief struggle before being taken into custody.
Perreault was initially charged with a felony count of assault on a person with severe impairments and misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was released on $10,000 personal recognizance after being arraigned before a justice of the peace.
The next day, Sept. 21, police received a 911 call from the same woman indicating that Perreault “was yelling vulgarities and swearing at the victim, referencing the alleged assault that he was charged with.” Officers responding to the scene arrested Perreault without incident, and he was additionally charged with intimidation of a witness or victim of a crime and another count of disorderly conduct.
“Violence against a person with disabilities is a serious crime and it deserves special attention due to the lack of protection and inability a person has as a result of their impairment to protect one-self against an assault,” Maj. Todd Patalano said through a statement.
“This alleged act of violence towards a person with a physical disability is unconscionable and a cowardly act,” Chief of Police Michael Winquist said through the statement. “I commend the person who quickly called the police department and the officer who safely took the suspect into custody. We work closely with the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General to ensure this individual is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
A North Kingstown woman prosecutors say was working at a Cranston company while improperly receiving more than $8,000 in unemployment insurance benefits has pleaded no contest and will pay restitution.
Michelle Dickens, 47, entered the plea in Superior Court last week, according to the office of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. She was sentenced to 7-1/2 years of probation and will pay $8,961 to the state.
Prosecutors say between June 30, 2012, and Nov. 3, 2012, Dickens did not accurately report her earnings to the state Department of Labor and Training. She is said to have authorized unemployment benefits through the DLT’s Teleserve voice response system while working for Coastal Medical Inc. in Cranston.
“Despite enhanced enforcement by the state, individuals continue to think they can get away with defrauding our unemployment insurance system,” Kilmartin said through a statement. “Yet, as this case proves, as well as the dozens others we have prosecuted, any attempt to do so will be detected, investigated and effectively prosecuted.”