By A.J. ALGIER
Sun Staff Writer
WAKEFIELD — A 24-year-old man with an extensive criminal history continued his Washington County Superior Court appearances this week on charges he intentionally rammed his car into a perceived romantic rival on Canal Street in Westerly. He is charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon and failure to stop at an accident resulting in personal injury or death.
Darrel J. Northup, of 7 Maybrey Drive, Westerly, has been held at the Adult Correctional Institutions since his appearance in court on Jan. 13, when he was found to be a violator of the terms of his probation on previous felony charges including the 2012 assault of funeral director David A. Poisson after he left a restaurant.
Northup, represented by public defender Thomas Thomasian, did not enter a plea to the most recent charges currently being heard before Superior Court Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg.
Westerly Police said Northup ran down William E. Cossia, 26, as he left the Brazen Hen where the victim and others employed by Midway Pizza, including his ex-girlfriend, gathered for a belated company holiday party.
At the time, Northup was serving a one-year suspended prison term, along with one-year of probation after pleading no contest to the previous charges involving the Rushlow-Iacoi funeral director. Two other men were also arrested and charged in that case.
On the night of his arrest, witnesses told police Northup drove his mother’s 2011 Kia Optima at Cossia as he stepped off the sidewalk on to Canal Street. Northup’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he has a child, was also at the scene and spoke to The Sun after the incident. Witnesses said after the car driven by Northup struck Cossia, he was thrown into the air, hit the hood of the car and fell to the ground.
Police said Northup fled the scene but was later apprehended Cossia was treated at The Westerly Hospital after the incident.
When Northup was 19, he pleaded no contest to Westerly police felony charges of conspiracy to commit arson for his role in an incident where he and another man set fire to a 19-year-old Westerly woman’s car.
Police at the time said the crime was revenge for a female friend who claimed the another woman was texting her boyfriend. A charge of fourth-degree arson was dismissed
Northup received a three-year suspended prison sentence, along with three-years of probation on the conspiracy charge.