By Jim Clark
The brother of a man facing multiple charges relating to a shooting incident that took place on November 11 is reaching out in defense of his brother’s actions.
Jacques Dessin told The Somerville News that his brother, Santano Dessin, is being misrepresented in the media as having taken inappropriate action against those who were, in fact, attacking him. He insists that his brother was acting solely in self-defense.
“This is an incident where you have a person who was attacked by three perpetrators,” said Dessin. “You have a classic self-defense whereby while being attacked he had called the police and informed them that he was being attacked.”
He went on to explain that his brother is licensed to carry a gun, and had warned the attackers that he would use it if they refused to allow him to go into the house, which is owned by his parents. The three alleged attackers were, according to Dessin, connected with tenants on the first floor who rent an apartment from the family.
According to Dessin, tensions between the family and their tenants had been developing in the days leading up to the incident. “Some of the individuals who actually live on the first floor were pulled over [by police] right in front of the house,” Dessin said. “When they were pulled over they had a machete in their car. I think that because the police were inundated with calls and issues dealing with hurricane Sandy they didn’t arrest them. In addition to that, these people had actually, we believe, some gang affiliations.”
Dessin further stated that it was his family’s belief that one of the tenants had been dealing drugs outside of the house. “So these are people that we know carried weapons and were involved in drugs.”
At the time of the confrontation leading up to the shooting, Dessin maintains that his brother was simply trying to gain entry into his family’s residence after asking them to lower the noise level from partying, but was confronted by the three individuals and blocked from reentering the building. He further asserts that his brother was physically assaulted and surrounded by the attackers.
“No one wanted that situation,” said Dessin. “And yet this guy (the shooting victim) was over six feet tall, about 250 lbs.” He went on to say that the attackers appeared to be drunk and/or under the influence of drugs. “They were not tested for drugs or alcohol,” according to Dessin. He believes that the State Police did not come to question the alleged attackers until many hours after the incident.
“From day one, unfortunately, it seems like the police never did certain things that they should have done when somebody is attacked and they call the police. It seems like this was poor policing on their part,” said Dessin.
Dessin points out that his brother called the police again after the shooting and waited for their arrival. “When they came he was there, he identified himself, and placed his gun on the ground. He was not ‘nabbed’ by the police, as one article [in the press] had said.”
Conversely, Dessin points out, one of the three alleged attackers fled before the police arrived after the initial call.
“When you know you’re dealing with people with drug backgrounds and weapons on them, it’s amazing that the prosecution in this case is just focused on him and not the attackers.”
Dessin wants the public to know that his brother is a law-abiding man who holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and who is looking to continue in that field or possibly shift his options to go into the medical field.
“This is a good guy,” according to Dessin. “He was warning them to stay away from him.” He also wants it known that only one shot was fired, in self-defense.
“He was definitely attacked by them,” according to Dessin. “I think that ultimately the evidence will show that.”
Santano Dessin was arraigned last week in Somerville District Court on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.