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Friday, March 23 News

Police: Man led PCP-induced supermarket assault

DARIEN — A PCP-driven Whole Foods parking lot rampage in December resulted in two injured witnesses and the arrest of 27-year-old Derrick Gonzalez, police said.

According to the report, police responded around 2:45 p.m. Dec. 8 to the Whole Foods parking lot on reports of an assault in progress. When officers arrived, they found Gonzalez, a Stamford resident and Whole Foods employee, being restrained by a group of bystanders after allegedly assaulting a man and a woman.

A police investigation showed Gonzalez’s attack began when he approached another Whole Foods employee in the parking lot who was collecting shopping carts at the time. He grabbed the 59-year-old man — who is protected by Connecticut General Statute 53a-61a, which prohibits the assault of an “elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant or mentally retarded person” — by the groin with one hand and by the jacket with the other and forcing him to the ground near a pile of rock salt, into which Gonzalez repeatedly slammed the man’s head, according to police.

A 57-year-old Stamford woman who had just parked her car nearby in the lot saw the alleged assault and began yelling at Gonzalez to get off the man. Gonzalez ran toward the woman and knocked her to the ground, kicking her in the head, dragging her, jumping on top of her, pulling her hair and then slamming her head into a pile of rock salt — all the while screaming throughout the incident, police said.

Both the man and woman sustained minor injuries and were transported to the hospital for treatment.

When police arrived, Gonzalez resisted officers’ attempts to detain him and was screaming and acting erratically before being handcuffed. He reportedly told police he couldn’t see anything, causing police to summon Darien EMS and paramedics. Gonzalez was eventually sedated and later admitted to smoking pot laced with phencyclidine (PCP), a potent hallucinogen also known as “Angel Dust.”

He was also transported to the hospital for evaluation.

On Dec. 20, Darien police applied for a warrant for Gonzalez’s arrest and on Jan. 2 Darien and Stamford police went to his home to arrest him.

He was transported to Darien police headquarters and charged with third-degree assault of blind or disabled person, second-degree assault, interfering with an officer and breach of peace. Gonzalez was held on a $10,000 bond and is due in state Superior Court in Stamford on Jan. 16.

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1