DARTMOUTH — He is a bit shaken up, but Cole Michael Kelly is now recovering at home just a day after he was run over in his yard by an allegedly drunk neighbor, relieved relatives of the 4-year-old boy said Thursday.
Cole came outside of his home on Buttonwood Road with his grandmother, Tammy Rebello, twice Thursday to meet reporters. His only visible injury was a scraped area on his left shin, but Rebello said he had been vomiting and not feeling well.
“He’s got a long time to recover,’’ she said, adding that doctors told the family that the child was traumatized by the incident that ended with the arrest of Pedro Roias, 64, on drunken driving charges.
Roias appeared Thursday in New Bedford District Court, where Bristol County prosecutors won a judge’s approval to hold him without bail until a dangerousness hearing next week. Roias shook and appeared visibly upset while in court.
The request for a dangerousness hearing was quickly approved by the judge, without discussion by the prosecution or a challenge by Roias’s lawyer.
According to police documents, Roias was drunk when he reversed his vehicle and smashed through a stockade style fence into the yard across the street, running over Cole while the child played in his family’s yard. The 2000 white Dodge Caravan had two flat tires on the passenger side, police said.
On Thursday, the break in the fence was about 15 feet wide and covered by tarps. Several people cleared broken boards from the yard.
“He was just playing with a ball,” Rebello said. “The normal, little-kid thing to do.”
According to police, Roias sat in his vehicle after the crash with the engine running until a person reached inside and shut the engine off. Police had to carry Roias from the vehicle because he was unable to walk or stand.
Maria Santos, the owner of the house where Roias lives, said Roias had been drinking vodka all morning — an almost-daily ritual for him, she said — when he crashed.
“If he’s not drunk, he’s a nice guy,” said Santos, 69. “But when he’s drunk, he’s a very bad person.”
Santos said she allows Roias to live with her because he used to care for her 48-year-old handicapped son and is his friend.
Roias regularly stumbles around the neighborhood, seemingly drunk, said Travis Lima, who lives across the street.
“He’s definitely creepy,” said Lima, who was not surprised to hear about the accident. “When there’s a lot of drinking, bad things are going to happen.”
Roias pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily injury; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; and operating to endanger.