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3rd arrest made in random Meriden Stop & Shop attack

MERIDEN — Police in Meriden have made a third arrest in a random attack on a couple inside a grocery store last month.

Christopher Monteleone, of Waterbury, turned himself into police on March 7 after learning there was a warrant out for his arrest. He is charged with breach of peace and was released on bond.

“The swift and decisive work by Detective Michael Fonda could not have been done without the overwhelming support he had received from concerned citizens throughout the state,” said Sergeant Christopher Fry with Meriden Police. “On behalf of the Meriden Police Department and the family of the victims, we are very grateful for the community’s outpouring of support and the media’s ability to spread our plea for assistance. We hope, that these combined efforts will help bring a sense of justice to the victims and community alike.”

Police were searching for up to five men who randomly attacked a man and his wife while they were grocery shopping at the Stop and Shop on Broad Street during the afternoon of Feb. 12.

Police said the 28-year-old man and his wife were walking into the store when five men began to “verbally harass” them from a car. Police said the couple tried to ignore the men and go into the store, but the group followed them.

“It appears as though the victims tried to separate themselves from the suspects while walking to the store and they’re kind of chattering to one another like, ‘Just ignore them. Try to ignore them.’ But the suspects became so persistent and kind of so involved with these two victims it became at that point unavoidable and things escalated so quickly. They never really could have anticipated such a negative outcome,” said Sergeant Darrin McKay with Meriden police.

The men continued to harass the couple and then surrounded them, according to police. One of the suspects threatened to punch the woman and another suspect hit the husband from behind. Police said the victim was punched in the face, knocked unconscious, and had several teeth knocked out.

“The victims did not know any of the suspects and at this time the assault and the harassment certainly appears to have been unprovoked,” said McKay.

 

Last week, two other men were charged in connection with the attack.

Thomas Zanone, of Waterbury, and Robert Cote, of Meriden, were charged with assault in the 2nd degree, conspiracy to commit assault, reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit endangerment, and breach of peace. Both men were released on a $50,000 bond and are expected to appear in court on March 16.

Monteleone is due in court on March 21.

Police said the two other men involved weren’t doing anything criminal, and even tried to stop the attack.