WESTERLY — A 23-year-old man faces charges after police say he purposely struck a perceived rival with his car and drove away, leaving the man lying on Canal Street injured and bleeding.
Darrel J. Northup, of 7 Mabrey Drive, Apt. B, was charged early today with felony assault with a dangerous weapon and failure to stop at an accident resulting in personal injury or death, a misdemeanor.
The incident occurred in the area of several downtown restaurants shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Northup drove a 2011 Kia Optima past the Brazen Hen a number of times in an effort to check on an ex-girlfriend with whom he had a longtime relationship and a child, police said after interviewing witnesses. The woman and other employees of Midway Pizza were meeting at the Brazen Hen for their holiday party, according to the police.
The victim, William E. Cossia, 26, of Westerly, and Northup’s former girlfriend left the restaurant at the same time, according to a police report on the incident. Witnesses told police that the two began to cross the street when Northup spun his car around at the intersection of Canal and High streets and accelerated, crossing the center line and hitting the victim, who was near the parking spaces by the Brazen Hen. According to police, witnesses said the impact threw the victim into the air.
Cossia was taken to The Westerly Hospital by Westerly Ambulance personnel for treatment of what were described as non-life threatening injuries. Cossia said in an interview with police in the hospital that, after he was struck, he fell onto the hood of the Kia before falling to the ground. He suffered three to four broken teeth and complained of hip pain.
Meanwhile, Midway Pizza owner Joseph Iorlano left a message on the restaurant’s Facebook page thanking his employees for the manner in which they dealt with a “near tragedy” and injuries to one of their employees following their belated holiday party.