Authorities say Dominick Moran made a 911 call just after 4 a.m. Thursday morning saying three men attacked and beat him and stole his backpack. When police arrived at 1295 Boylston St. in the Fenway, they found the 48-year-old homeless man bloody and bruised.
As police searched for his backpack, they found emergency workers trying to revive another homeless man lying in a nearby alley, Assistant District Attorney David Bradley said. The backpack was nearby.
The man on the ground died, Bradley said, and surveillance video from the scene showed “a different story” than the one Moran told officers about how he sustained his injuries: Instead of a robbery, the video shows a man prosecutors say is Moran walking up to the 56-year-old victim and then kicking and beating him.
On Friday, Moran was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail after he pleaded not guilty in Roxbury Municipal Court to two charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Bradley said he expects the charges against Moran to be elevated “to more serious charges to reflect the death of the victim,” whom prosecutors have not yet identified.
Moran stood behind a door during his arraignment; only his elbow was visible.
His attorney, Bruce Carroll, said his client has no criminal record and was injured during the fight, as well.
“He’s the one that called the police,” said Carroll. “You can see that he was beaten and beaten pretty badly.”
Carroll said Moran and the victim knew each other before the attack.
He said his client had no money, and it was doubtful he could even post $500 bail. Court documents give his address as the Pine Street Inn. A spokeswoman, for the shelter, Barbara Trevisan, confirmed that Moran has stayed there in the past, but she said he had not received services in a few months.
Bradley said that when police arrived on Boylston Street, Moran told them that three men, including the victim, had robbed him. However, Bradley said, surveillance video showed Moran approaching the victim accompanied by a third man, who soon departed.
“He shows up, and the victim was asleep, or looks like he was leaning against the wall of the vestibule or the side entrance of the building,” said Bradley. “The victim was woken up by a gentlemen wearing a darker-colored shirt.”
The video was shot from a third-floor camera, and faces are not visible, Bradley said. But the man in the dark shirt, who authorities allege was Moran, had a backpack, he said.
“A fight ensues,’’ Bradley said.
The man in the dark shirt kicks and stomps on the victim at least five or six times, Bradley said, and hits the man in the head or upper torso with the backpack once or twice. Both men fall down, do not move for a while, wake up, and then continue to fight, said Bradley.
“At that point, the defendant leaves, leaving behind his backpack,” said Bradley.
An autopsy did not show overt signs of trauma to the victim, and the apparent cause of death was a heart attack, Bradley said.
But, he added, the beating probably triggered the heart attack.
“It’s likely that this event, the heart attack, came as a result of this altercation,” said Bradley.
The state medical examiner will continue to investigate, and final results will take two or three months, Bradley said.