CHELSEA — A man told police he became so enraged when a woman tried to steal his laptop after he brought her to his apartment early Sunday morning that he beat her over the head with a steel pipe, a prosecutor said Monday.
Manuel Marroquin, 26, is accused of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the beating of the 29-year-old woman.
Police said that they found her bleeding and screaming on the sidewalk near Marroquin’s apartment on Chestnut Street shortly after 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
Judge Matthew Nestor held Marroquin on $100,000 cash bail and ordered him to stay away from the woman, who prosecutor David Bradley said was in critical condition with multiple skull fractures at Massachusetts General Hospital. Authorities declined to release her name.
Marroquin did not speak during his appearance in Chelsea District Court.
A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.
He wore a white prison jumpsuit and listened through a translator as Bradley read from a police report about the beating.
A short time after paramedics carried the woman off
the sidewalk, police said, Marroquin stepped out of his nearby apartment.
An officer said he warned Marroquin to stop because there was still blood on the sidewalk.
“I did it,” Marroquin allegedly said in Spanish. “She tried to rob me, so I hit her.”
Authorities said Marroquin waived his Miranda rights and told police he had picked the woman up less than a block from his house while he was walking home from a local restaurant earlier that night.
Marroquin said the woman had asked if he wanted to have sex, so they walked back to his place.
Afterward, Marroquin noticed his laptop computer was missing, according to the police report. He told police that he asked the woman twice to open her purse. When she did not, Marroquin allegedly grabbed the bag and found the computer.
He picked up a pipe and hit the woman over the head several times, police said. Then he allegedly carried her downstairs and left her on the sidewalk, prosecutors said.
Blood poured from a cut on the woman’s forehead, police said. One officer reported he put pressure on the woman’s wound and called on paramedics to hurry, unsure if she would survive.
When Marroquin came outside, police said, he willingly described the alleged attack.
“[He] voluntarily brought officers to his apartment, where we observed fresh blood on the rug, floor, and bed,” a Chelsea police officer wrote in the report.
“[Marroquin] pointed to a metal pipe in the corner and informed us that is the pipe he used.”
Marroquin’s lawyer, John Haggerty, argued for lower bail in court Monday, saying his client works for a nut company in Cambridge and could never pay tens of thousands of dollars for his release.
He said Marroquin has lived at the same address on Chestnut Street for six years.
Prosecutors had asked for $250,000 cash bail.
On Chestnut Street late Sunday morning, witnesses recalled waking up to the sounds of a woman screaming outside their windows.
“She was alone, and her pants were down and her shirt was up,” said Keymeli Barillas, 17.
On Monday, the area was quiet with only a small piece of crime scene tape still stuck to a chain-link fence.
Marroquin is next due in court July 16 for a probable cause hearing.
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