Three to Five Years for New Bedford Man Involved in ‘Vicious’ Beating
NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford man who took part in a savage beating that nearly killed another man and left him with lifelong injuries to his eyes and face has been sentenced to up to five and a half years in state prison.
Raul Luna Augusto, 23, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and battery in Fall River Superior Court last Friday in the attack, which Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn called "vicious."
Augusto was one of several men who cornered the victim in a North End alleyway in the early hours of June 2, 2019 before kicking and stomping him, according to the D.A.'s office.
New Bedford Police were called to Phillips and Acushnet Avenues at around 12:40 a.m. that night for reports of a man bleeding heavily in the driveway.
Surveillance video from a camera on a nearby building shows a dark colored Nissan Altima back into the driveway and shut off its lights.
After the victim walks up and briefly converses with the car's occupants, the two rear passengers — including Augusto — are seen getting out of the car and knocking the victim to the ground before kicking and stomping on him.
In the video the pair are later joined by the driver and the front passenger, according to the District Attorney's office.
Following the beating, the driver placed the victim's baseball cap over his face before all four men fled the scene.
The victim, who is not identified, was taken to hospital, where he suffered cardiac arrest and had no pulse for four minutes.
According to the District Attorney's office, he survived with multiple complex facial fractures requiring surgery using a dozen plates and one implant, as well as a broken ankle.
He is also at risk for impaired vision or blindness going forward due to the injuries he sustained during the attack.
The car driven by the suspects was later found at Augusto’s New Bedford address.
“I am pleased the defendant was held accountable for his role in the vicious beating of the victim, who could have died from the serious injuries inflicted upon him," said Quinn.
"This case again highlights the importance of video surveillance in solving difficult cases."