Wesley Davey, 54, and James Soriano, 64, both residents of Butterfield Common in West Dover, are accused of beating Michael Disalvo, 67, also a Butterfield Common resident, in his apartment.
According to court documents, police who were called to the building after the altercation arrived to find Disalvo bloodied, holding a towel to his forehead, and blood around the entryway to his apartment. In a statement to Dover Police Detective Richard Werner, Disalvo said he had been watching TV at about 9:30 pm when he heard a loud knocking at his door, as if someone was kicking the door. “I put my foot against the door … and I cracked the door a little bit with my foot against it, and I was pushed back.”
According to the vicitm, Davey “started punching me and pushing me back in the chest.” He said Soriano was carrying a stick with a “bulb on the end of it like part of a root” with which he struck Disalvo. At one point in the struggle, according to Disalvo, “James was behind (Davey) and came right around him and hit me as hard as he could, and whacked me on the head, and that’s how I got this.” At that point, according to the affidavit, Disalvo motioned toward a three-inch laceration on the top of his head.
A witness told police that she heard banging at her door and opened it to find a silver pin. According to the witness, one side of the pin said “Nutjob,” and Davey’s name was also affixed to the pin. While on the phone with Disalvo to ask him if he knew anything about the pin, she heard a ruckus and the phone went dead. According to an affidavit by Wilmington Police Sgt. Matt Murano, the pin was turned over to police.
When police discussed the alleged incident with Davey, according to court documents, he provided a different account of the events. He said that he “found a disparaging button directed at myself outside my door.” He asked Soriano to accompany him to Disalvo’s and the witness’s apartments to ask about the pin. There was no answer at the witness’s apartment, but when the two got to Disalvo’s apartment, “he yelled at me and threatened me, then struck me with a walking stick in the head, briefly knocking me unconscious.”
Davey told police he struck Disalvo twice, and “I think, I’m not sure, (Soriano) returned a strike on (Disalvo’s head) once.” According to Werner’s affidavit, Davey showed police where he was allegedly struck by Disalvo, but police couldn’t discern any mark or injury.
When police asked Davey if he had entered Disalvo’s apartment, he replied “that he may have placed half his foot inside or a whole foot, but he had not gone down the hallway far enough to get to the bathroom door.”
Davey told police that “there was a lot of history” between Disalvo and other Butterfield Common residents, and referred several times to the alleged “sugaring of a grandmother’s (fuel) tank in the garage.”
According to Werner’s affidavit, police were aware of the incidents at Butterfield Common, but hadn’t been able to find the perpetrator, in part because information had become muddled with hearsay. “There is a lot of talk among the residents which creates a lot of difficulty in these cases, as no one has any direct information, just hearsay.”
Police were unable to contact Soriano until the next day, when he voluntarily came to the Dover Police Department. But Soriano declined to waive his Miranda rights, and wasn’t questioned on the matter.
Both Soriano and Davey pleaded not guilty to the charges in Windham Superior Court. Davey was released on conditions that include that he not harass or have contact with Disalvo. Additionally, Soriano is prohibited from being within 300 feet of Disalvo, or within one mile of Butterfield Common. Davey’s conditions of release also bar him from harassing or contacting Disalvo. Davey was given a 21-hour curfew, from 1 pm to 10 am daily, but he was allowed to remain in his Butterfield Common residence. He is barred from being on the floor of the building where Disalvo’s apartment is, “except to access the stairs” to his own floor.
If convicted, the two could face up to 25 years in prison or fined not more than $1,000 for the felony charge of burglary to an occupied dwelling, and one year in prison and a fine of not more than $1,000 for the misdemeanor simple assault.