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Bickering couple charged with assault

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A man and a woman were arraigned yesterday in Dudley District Court on assault charges stemming from an incident in which a local man was struck with a shovel, and a rock smashed through the window of a fast-food restaurant on Main Street.

Officer Aaron Suss said, shortly before midnight Sunday, police were called to the Taco Bell restaurant on East Main Street to investigate the alleged assault.

The victim, John J. Piktelis Jr., 26, of Webster, told police he was walking along Cody Street when he encountered Jose A. Thomas, 21, of Woonsocket, R.I., and Christine N. Desborough, 18, of 24 Cody St. arguing outside her apartment.

Mr. Piktelis said when he tried to intervene, Mr. Thomas threatened him, and both he and Ms. Desborough assaulted him.

At some point, according to the police report, Mr. Thomas grabbed a spade-headed shovel lying on the ground and he and Ms. Desborough chased the victim toward Main Street, hitting him four or five times.

In front of the fast-food restaurant, Mr. Piktelis said he grabbed the shovel and was wrestling with Mr. Thomas, at which point Ms. Desborough began choking him with the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing. He said she threw a rock at him that missed and smashed the front window of the restaurant.

Police said both of the alleged assailants fled before police arrived.

After a brief investigation, police identified the two suspects and arrested Mr. Thomas at his mother's house at 22 Morris St.

Police described Mr. Thomas as combative when he was taken into custody.

According to the report, Mr. Piktelis had a cut on his hand and other injuries from the assault, but declined medical attention or transport to a hospital.

Both Mr. Thomas and Ms. Desborough were arraigned on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, the shovel and the rock, destruction of property valued at more than $250, being a disorderly person and disturbing the peace.

Mr. Thomas was released on $250 cash bail and his case was continued to Oct. 16. Ms. Desborough was released on $200 cash bail and her case was continued to Oct. 30. They both were ordered to have no contact with Mr. Piktelis

Officers Suss, Daniel Difusco and James Young Jr. investigated.
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