CHELSEA — Evidence markers lay next to a discarded cigarette pack and a faded scratch ticket Sunday morning on a sidewalk where police say a woman was found badly beaten about 4:30 a.m.
The woman was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was in serious condition, according to Chelsea police Captain Keith Houghton.
Officers found her suffering from head wounds outside 276 Chestnut St., he said.
They quickly arrested Manuel Marroquin, 26, who lives at the address where the victim was found, Houghton said. He declined to identify the woman, who is 39, but said police believe the attack was neither random nor domestic.
According to the Suffolk district attorney’s office, Marroquin will face a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon at his arraignment Monday in Chelsea District Court.
Yellow crime scene tape blocked off about 50 yards of the sidewalk late Sunday morning. Inside the cordoned-off area, a drop of blood was visible next to one evidence marker.
Detectives canvassed the scene and swished coffee in plastic cups behind a cruiser parked across the street from a huddle of television cameras. Passersby in cars and on foot stopped and stared, asking what happened.
Keymeli Barillas, 17, said her father woke her early Sunday morning to tell her about the screams, and she looked from a window, seeing a woman bleeding on the pavement outside her home.
“She was alone, and her pants were down and her shirt was up,” Barillas said.
She said the woman looked young and was bleeding badly from the face and mouth. Barillas said she does not know Marroquin, the suspect.
Next door, Aurea Drinkwater, 68, said she woke to the sound of screams between 4 and 5 a.m.
She went to the window and saw a woman on the ground, her face full of blood.
Ed Melesciuc, 57, said the neighborhood, which is not far from City Hall, is among the worst in the city. He said he grew up nearby and moved back about 10 years ago.
“Always fights and prostitution and drug dealing goes on Fifth Street,” Melesciuc said, pointing up the road. “Ever since Chelsea was Chelsea.”
Still, he said, a violent crime such as a beating was shocking, because people typically still look out for one another.
He said he was sleeping across the street and did not hear anything Saturday night.
“Even though it’s a bad neighborhood, it’s a community,” Melesciuc said.Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ZackSampson.