LOWELL — The Lowell man accused of striking a 15-year-old boy who was riding a bicycle on a sidewalk and then fleeing Friday has been prosecuted three times since 2011 in connection with alleged involvement in road rage incidents that ended violently, court records show.
Calvin J. Sousa, 21, appeared Wednesday in Lowell District Court where he was arraigned on charges including armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury. He turned himself in Tuesday, his lawyer said.
Authorities allege a white Chevrolet pickup struck the teenager, who was not identified, about 2:30 p.m. Friday as he pedaled near Cavaleiro’s Restaurant on Lawrence Street.
“The defendant allegedly struck down a young man who was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk with the intent to cause serious harm and then fled from the scene without stopping,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said in a statement.
The teen suffered internal and head injuries, Lowell police have said. He was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and later admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital, Ryan’s office said.
Sousa and a passenger know the 15-year-old, according to Lowell Police Captain Timothy Crowley, a department spokesman. He said there are “ongoing issues between them.”
Shortly before the crash, occupants of a white Chevrolet pickup were seen speaking with the victim and a friend, who had been skateboarding alongside him.
The discussion apparently turned heated and the friend ran away while the victim rode his bike in the opposite direction, police have said.
The boy was riding on the sidewalk when the vehicle reappeared, moving in the opposite direction. Witnesses told investigators the truck crossed into the wrong lane and struck the teen, police have said.
When police arrived, only the front wheel and chain of the bike were visible.
The rest of the bike was located about one mile away on Bolt Street, apparently dragged there by the truck, according to police. The abandoned pickup was found nearby.
Prosecutors did not reveal new information about the crash in court Wednesday, and Judge Michael Brooks approved a request to seal the case against Sousa, who was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for Feb. 24.
Defense attorney Joseph Simons said Sousa is innocent.
“He intends to fight this,” he said. “Nobody’s happy that somebody was hurt, but I don’t know that it was my guy that was there.”
Court records show prosecutors filed criminal charges against Sousa in 2012 and 2013 following allegations he became violent while driving on Lowell streets, but both cases were dismissed.
In a third case involving allegations tied to a road rage incident, Sousa admitted to sufficient facts and was ordered to pay restitution after police said he slashed the tires of a parked car in Lowell, court records show. The case was dismissed upon the recommendation of probation officials in February 2013.
In the 2012 case, a motorcyclist reported Sousa cut him off in traffic on Church Street in Lowell and then pointed a handgun at him, according to a police report filed in court. Officers determined the weapon was a BB gun.
Sousa was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, but in April 2013, the court was informed the case could not proceed for “failure to prosecute,” records show. Probation officials later recommended the case be dismissed.
In May 2013, a Lowell woman reported Sousa shattered the driver’s side window of her SUV with his elbow after the car he was in followed her to a convenience store parking lot, a police report said. She received a minor cut from the shattered glass, but refused medical treatment, the report said.
The woman told officers the vehicle began following her after she accidentally cut off the car at Chapel and Elm streets, the report said. Sousa was charged, but the case was dismissed in May 2014 for “failure to prosecute.”
A Ryan spokeswoman said Wednesday night she could not provide details about why prosecutors did not proceed with the cases because she did not have immediate access to the files.