PLAINVILLE - A Bristol man who pleaded guilty to viciously beating a man at random in September was sentenced to 30 days behind bars on Thursday and spared a stiffer sentence.
Timothy Harrison, 22, of Lexington Street in Bristol, was handed down the sentence in Bristol Superior Court after taking a plea bargain that exposed him to as many as two years in prison.
The 30 days he received was the minimum mandatory sentence he could have gotten after pleading guilty to reckless driving and operating without an ignition interlock device - two charges that were connected to an incident in February in Southington, which was unrelated to the attack in Plainville. Harrison did not get any prison time associated with the second-degree assault charge to which he pleaded guilty.
In Connecticut, those who fail or refuse to take a breathalyzer test are ordered to have a device in their vehicle that takes a blood alcohol content level before it can be started. The device is also required for DUI arrests or arrests involving vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter.
On Sept. 11 in Plainville, Harrison and Gabriel Rivera, 21, of Ruth Street in Bristol, punched a 40-year-old man in the face numerous times and hit him with a stick several times sometime before 4:27 a.m., according to the police report.
According to police, the victim told officers he had been walking to a nearby bus stop when he heard a woman talking with someone on the second-floor porch of a home on Broad Street. He did not say anything and continued to walk, he said. He then suddenly noticed two men who had come out of the home start engaging him, asking him what he had in his bag.
The men, who were unprovoked, according to the complainant, then began pushing the victim and hitting him. According to the report, they punched him in the face a number of times. The 40-year-old tried to get away, but the assailants chased after him when he ran.
Once in the area of Peace Court and Broad Street, the men knocked the victim down to the ground and struck him with a stick numerous times. He covered his face in an effort to protect himself, but he was kicked, punched and struck with the stick a number of times, defenselessly. At this point, the victim began screaming for help.
Someone from a nearby home then came outside and started yelling at the two assailants, who left the area on foot. Officers later found two suspects in the home where the victim had originally heard a woman and identified them as Rivera and Harrison, according to police.
Harrison on Thursday was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended after service of 30 days, and three years of probation. His attorney, Elisa Villa, argued that her client has stopped drinking alcohol and, since becoming a father, has matured.
Judge John Cronan said he had a hard time grappling with the fact that the victim was walking down the road innocently when he was attacked by “two drunk thugs.” He could have sentenced Harrison to as many as two years in accordance with the plea bargain.
According to court records, Rivera pleaded guilty in December to charges of third-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to three months in prison on each charge.