By John Lynds
While investigators continue to try to connect the death of 83-year-old Daniel Pepe, of East Boston to an attack of an elderly man three days later, State Police have arrested a Cambridge man with a lengthy record in connection with the latter crime.
Michael Bruzzese, of Cambridge, formerly of Hingham, was arraigned in East Boston Municipal Court Friday on charges of assault and battery on an elder, unarmed robbery of a person over 60, breaking and entering into a vehicle in the daytime, and larceny over $250.
According to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, Assistant District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum requested bail of $100,000. Judge John MacDonald imposed a $25,000 bail and ordered that Bruzzese be held without bail on a Norfolk Superior Court probation matter. According to prosecutors, Bruzzese is currently serving three years of probation for convictions on charges of possession of burglarious tools and two counts of malicious destruction of property over $250.
During the arraignment, Feigenbaum told the court that “Bruzzese allegedly approached the 67-year-old victim at the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation in East Boston on June 1 at approximately 1:30 p.m. and allegedly punched the victim, causing bruising the left side of his head, and stole the victim’s car keys from his pocket.”
When the victim was able to return to his car, he found that it had been entered and approximately $250 to $300 had been stolen from his wallet inside the vehicle.
After further investigation, State Police detectives placed the defendant’s photo into a photo array, and the victim positively identified Bruzzese as the assailant.
The June 1 assault followed a May 29 incident in which Pepe suffered a head injury that claimed his life at a Boston hospital three days later.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet determined the cause and manner of Pepe’s death.
“The circumstances surrounding it remain under investigation by State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk DA’s office,” said Conley.
Anyone with information on that incident is urged to share it with troopers at 617-727-8817.
Bruzzese was represented for bail purposes by Silvia Guzman and will return to court on July 1.