A Naugatuck man was arrested Thursday on felony assault charges after police said he stabbed two men during a drunken fight that broke out near the bridge on Maple Street last month.
Borough police arrested Stephen Sorriero, 26, in connection with the St. Patrick's Day incident, which happened sometime after 2 a.m. on March 17. Two men were hospitalized as a result of the attack, one with a stab wound to the back and another with a wound in the ribs, although both injuries were non-life threatening, police said.
The incident began when three men were walking on Maple Street after being out at a bar downtown, police said. When the three men came by the parking lot outside Duffy’s bar, they passed by Sorriero — who sometimes goes by the name Stephen Dwyer — who was with a group of men and women in the parking lot, according to an arrest warrant affidavit from Waterbury Superior Court.
Someone in Sorriero’s group yelled something out at the three men, and one of the three men yelled back, police said. Then, according to court documents, Sorriero and two others charged the three men and started a fight.
That’s when Sorriero pulled a four-inch knife out and stabbed two of the men, court documents alleged. The victims eventually got away and the fight broke up, but it was another hour-and-a-half before one of the victims finally called police and responded with an ambulance, away from the bar, Favale said.
Favale said police were initially unsure about the victim's claims, because a Naugatuck police officer was parked in the area of Parcel C, across from Duffy's, around 3:30 a.m. when the victim's call came in. The officer never saw any fight ensue, Favale said.
It wasn't until after the victim — who admitted in the warrant to drinking five beers that night — had told police the fight happened over an hour earlier, well before the officer arrived, Favale said.
The Police Investigation
Police interviewed multiple people in connection with the fight, including friends of Sorriero and the bartender at Duffy’s — who told police she did hear the fight happen outside after closing the bar.
Naugatuck police spokesman Officer Michael Favale said more arrests are expected.
The victims also picked out Sorriero from a photo line-up, Favale said, and further interviews in the investigation lead to him as the suspect. Witnesses confirmed with police that Sorriero was involved in the fight, the warrant stated.
Investigators never recovered the knife, however Det. Ronald “Jay” Pugliese, and other Naugatuck detectives, located blood spots on the Maple Street bridge after the incident occurred, the warrant stated.
Favale said all the parties — victims and suspects — were intoxicated during the fight, although he said there was no indication of drug use involved.
When police tried to speak to Sorriero, initially, he did return a detective’s phone call. But he later left a message with the saying he wouldn’t speak about the incident and that he’s already retained an attorney.
When police came to Sorriero’s 28 Olive St. home to serve an arrest warrant on him, the suspect’s roommate, 25-year-old Francis Dellorso, claimed Sorriero didn’t live there.
Favale said the arresting officers, after noticing Sorriero’s name on the mailbox along with Dellorso’s, later located Sorriero trying to flee the apartment through the back door.
Sorriero is facing two counts of first-degree assault and a breach of peace. He appeared in Waterbury court on Monday where Judge Richard Damiani set his bond at $75,000. Sorriero remains incarcerated.
Meanwhile, Dellorso was also arrested on charges of second-degree hindering prosecution and interfering with an officer. He was held on a $5,000 surety bond. Details of Dellorso’s court appearance were not available on Monday.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original version to remove sensitive information involving the ongoing investigation.