There’s a lesson to be learned in the arrest of three people in Wilton following an alleged attempted larceny and assault: don’t take justice into your own hands–especially using a baseball bat.
At approximately 3:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, Wilton Police responded to 991 Danbury Rd., near Sugar Hollow Rd. and Sunset Pass, on the report of an assault. Upon arrival, officers found three individuals who they say had been in a physical altercation.
According to police, Rolen Altamirano, 50, and Beatriz Altamirano, 42, both of Weston, rent part of the lot at 991 Danbury Rd. for a firewood business. The Altamiranos told investigators that over a period of three weeks they saw on security camera footage that someone was repeatedly taking firewood from their inventory in the early hours of the mornings.
As a result, police say, the Altamiranos decided to stake out the property and wait for the individual to show up.
At approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, an individual later identified as Leslie Philibert, 45, of Danbury, arrived in a black 2008 Hyundai Tiburon and allegedly began to load firewood into the back of his vehicle.
The Altamiranos reportedly drove their vehicle behind Philibert’s car to block him from leaving. Police say the couple then got out, “equipped with bats” and confronted him.
Then, according to police, the tables turned. The report states that, “at some point, Philibert got a hold of an aluminum bat possessed by Rolen Altamirano and proceeded to assault both Altamiranos with the bat.”
Wilton Police Capt. Rob Cipolla said that both of the Altamiranos sustained “serious injuries to their face and head, resulting in quite a bit of blood.”
All three were transported to Norwalk Hospital for treatment, although Cipolla said Philibert had no visible injuries, but was taken for evaluation.
Once he was discharged from the hospital, Philibert was taken into custody and transported back to Wilton Police headquarters where he was charged with the following:
- Robbery, 1st degree (2 counts)
- Assault, 2nd degree (2 counts)
- Criminal Trespass, 1st degree
- Larceny, 6th degree
Philibert was held on a $30,000 bond and was arraigned at court on Tuesday.
Police also arrested both of the Altamiranos and charged them with 2nd degree Breach of Peace. They were released on a promise to appear in court on March 5, 2020. (Cipolla did not know the extent of their injuries or status update from the hospital.)
Cipolla said the events most likely could have been prevented if the business owners had contacted police instead of trying to handle things themselves.
“We don’t have any record that we can see at this point that we received a report that this was an ongoing issue the past three weeks,” he said, adding, “That would be the appropriate thing to do–contacting the police should you be a victim of a crime, rather than lying in wait and trying to take things into your own hands. Unfortunately, it was a bad outcome.”
Cipolla reiterated those words of caution for the public.
“If someone’s finds themselves experiencing some kind of victimization, the appropriate measure is to contact the police. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, because you don’t know who you’re encountering,” he said.