Darien Whole Foods employee charged with assaulting disabled coworker and customer
Darien police arrested a Stamford man accused of assaulting two people while under the influence of marijuana and PCP on Dec. 8. Police received a report of an assault in process in the Whole Foods Market parking lot on Ledge Road at about 2:45 p.m. When officers arrived a group of bystanders were restraining the man involved.
The man was identified as an employee of Whole Foods named Derrick Gonzalez, 27. According to police Gonzalez was combative at the scene, acting erratically and screaming incoherently. He was handcuffed and restrained by police and began to claim that he couldn’t see anything. Darien EMS and paramedics responded to the scene and sedated Gonzalez, who later admitted to using marijuana laced with phencyclidine (PCP).
According to police a 59-year-old Whole Foods employee was attacked by Gonzalez while collecting shopping carts. The victim said Gonzalez grabbed his jacket with one hand and his groin with the other and forced him to the ground near a pile of rock salt. Gonzalez then repeatedly slammed the victim’s head into the pile.
A 57-year-old woman who had parked in the lot saw the two struggling and attempted to intervene. She yelled at Gonzalez to get off the older man, but Gonzalez then ran towards her and began attacking her. He knocked the woman to the ground, kicked her in the head, jumped on top of her, pulled her hair and began slamming her head into the pile of rock salt as well. Eventually other bystanders in the parking lot restrained Gonzalez and called the police.
Both victims sustained minor injuries. It was also later determined that male victim is a protected party under Connecticut General Statute 53a-61a, which increases minimum sentences for an assault on a disabled person. Both victims were transported to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. During the entire incident, Gonzalez was screaming uncontrollably and continuously resisted officer’s attempts to detain him. He was subsequently transported to the hospital for evaluation.
Police applied for an arrest warrant on Dec. 20, 2017 and were able to take Gonzalez into custody at his home on Jan. 2, 2018 with the help of the Stamford Police Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit. He was charged with assault of a blind or disabled person in the third degree as well as assault in the second degree, interfering with an officer and breach of peace.
Gonzalez was issued a $10,000.00 bond and is scheduled to appear in Stamford Superior Court on Jan. 15. Gonzalez was unable to post bond and remains in the custody of the Darien Police Department.