Three charged in attack at Bradenton Riverwalk skate park now face life in prison

jdeleon@bradenton.comNovember 21, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The three men charged with beating a disabled man at the Bradenton Riverwalk Skate Park earlier this month now face the possibility of life in prison.

After meeting with the victim, charges against Devin Mark Wilson, 19; Rubier Infante Zaldivar, 20 and Christopher Lovell, 20, were filed by Assistant State Attorney Darlene Ragoonanan, increasing the severity from when they were originally arrested by police.

Wilson was first arrested on Nov. 6 and charged with aggravated abuse on a disabled person. Lovell, first arrested on Nov. 5, and Zaldivar, on Nov. 6, were initially charged with active encouragement of abuse of a disabled adult.

The charge now alleges that assault was also a hate crime against the victim, making the charge a life felony, not a third-degree felony as filed by Bradenton police. Charges against Zaldivar and Lovell have also been amended to principal to aggravated abuse of a disabled person.

All three defendants appeared before Manatee County Judge Mark Singer on Wednesday afternoon at a first appearance hearing.

Lovell had posted bond after his initial arrest before appearing in court where Zaldivar and Wilson each received high bonds and multiple conditions on their release. Zaldivar and Wilson remained in jail since their initial arrest.

On Wednesday in court Ragoonanan requested that bond and the conditions of supervised release remain the same against Zaldivar and Wilson, and also be applied to Lovell.

Wilson's bond was ordered to remain at $150,000. Supervised release conditions remain, to include no contact with the victim and his mother, no contact within 500 feet of the Riverwalk skate park and a curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Zaldivar's bond was ordered to remain at $75,000. His supervised release order requires him to live with his father, observe an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, have no contact with the victim or his mother, stay 500 feet away from the Riverwalk skate park, and have no contact with Wilson.

In the courtroom was Bradenton police Detective John Morningstar who led the police investigation against the three.

Private attorney John Fleck was in the courtroom on behalf of Lovell.

Lovell is also partially disabled, Fleck said. Lovell's family were present in the courtroom and Fleck said the bond was excessive for the low-income family.

"This is such a serious bond, he could be held without bond," Singer said.

Lovell's bond was set at $75,000 and he was also ordered placed on supervised release with conditions, including no contact with the victim and the victim's mother, no contact within 500 feet of the Riverwalk skate park and a curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The attack took place just after midnight on Nov. 5. The victim suffers from psychosis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to his mother.

Police say Wilson threw the victim on the ground and then began kneeing and punching him in the head and chest.

Bradenton police learned of the incident after receiving a tip that Lovell had a video of the attack posted on his Facebook page, according to police.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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