A Somerville man pleaded guilty to assault charges for his role in a 2011 attack against a jogger in Medford, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan informed the public today.
Niall Vallega, 20, of Somerville, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), and assault and battery. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman sentenced the defendant to 2 ½ years in the house of correction on the charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, 2 ½ years in the house of correction from and after on one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and five years probation on the remaining charges.
“This defendant was one of four young men who violently attacked another man on Medford sidewalk,” District Attorney Ryan said. “This attack left the victim with very serious injuries. The fact that this attack was completely unprovoked is all the more troubling. I applaud the work of the Medford Police Department to ensure that all of the perpetrators of this attack are held accountable for their actions.”
On March 17, 2011, the victim was walking on Salem Street in Medford. The defendant and others drove by the victim, yelling threats. Moments later, two of the perpetrators charged toward the victim threatening to beat him up.
The victim attempted to walk away when he was confronted by three of the assailants. Without provocation, the victim was punched in the eye by the defendant and hit over the head with a glass bottle from behind. The victim was repeatedly attacked by the defendant and two others. The fourth defendant brandished a knife and stabbed the victim in the side. Nearby store employees heard the victim yelling for help and called police and the defendants fled. The victim suffered serious injuries including a collapsed lung.
Medford Police launched an immediate investigation. Based on evidence, including a GPS location device worn by one of the defendants, cell phone records, and witness accounts, police identified the suspects. Vallega was arrested in June 2012 and indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on January 24, 2013.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Corey Santos. The Victim Witness Advocate was Helena Clarke.