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Westerly man getting evaluation after spitting incident


WAKEFIELD — A Westerly man who has had numerous addresses and sometimes no home in the last few years went from being handcuffed and arraigned in 4th Division District Court to a waiting South Kingstown ambulance for a trip to South County Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Robert Riyena, 51, of 5 Pleasant St., Apt. 4, was charged Thursday with disorderly conduct and simple assault and/or battery after Westerly police said he went after his neighbor and spit on him. Riyena, who has an extensive record of minor crimes such as trespassing and disorderly conduct, appeared before Judge Madeline Quirk.

Westerly Lt. Phil Williams said Riyena, who was out on bail on a previous disorderly conduct charge involving the same man, saw the man on Friendship Street in Westerly and yelled that he was “going to beat and kill him” before the alleged spitting occurred.

Riyena, who could have been sent to prison as a violator of his bail on the previous charge, was allowed to go to the hospital as an alternative to being held at the Adult Correctional Institutions.

— A.J. Algier



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