Norwich man arraigned on assault, trespass charges

Police who went to a vacant home at 77 New Village Road in Norwich Friday to assist a building inspector found a woman with numerous cuts and bruises on her face and several areas of her hair ripped out.

The police arrested Ralph Spero, son of the home’s former owner, who they said had repeatedly assaulted the woman over a number of days and had tampered with the home’s electrical meter while squatting illegally at the home.

The woman was taken to The William W. Backus Hospital for treatment.

Spero was held over the weekend and presented Tuesday in Superior Court in Norwich on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree strangulation, cruelty to persons, first-degree unlawful restraining, second-degree threatening, first-degree criminal trespass, third-degree criminal mischief and attempted theft of utilities.

Judge Timothy D. Bates set his bond at $10,000 cash and continued the case to June 18.

According to a police report, city patrolman Matthew Seidel went to the home to help Ed Martin, a building inspector and blight enforcement officer, who reported the electrical meter was damaged.

Seidel had responded to a complaint of squatting at the house about a year ago and found that the copper pipes and electrical wires had been cut out. There was also garbage and human feces scattered throughout at the time, according to the report.

The building inspector reported the home is owned by Wells Fargo, which hires somebody to mow the lawn, and that he had seen Spero enter the home. Martin said the home is not habitable due to lack of plumbing and is in deplorable condition.

Neighbors approached Seidel and reported seeing Spero tamper with and destroy the electrical meter and saw him entering and leaving the house numerous times.

Officers forced entry into the house and found Spero and the woman in an upstairs bedroom. Spero, who had been charged in February after fighting with officers and assaulting Sgt. Peter Camp, refused to comply with police orders to surrender and was wrestled to the floor, according to the report. He complained that his right arm was “not connected” and suffered a small cut to the bridge of his nose as officers took him down, according to the report. He was treated at the scene by American Ambulance.

— Karen Florin

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