WATERBURY — A massive fight in a Naugatuck apartment on Wednesday has led to two 20-year-old men sitting in jail on six-figure bonds, while a man who plunged four stories after the initial brawl was still in critical condition Friday evening.
Salomon Martinez, 24, of Stratford was in intensive care in Waterbury Hospital three days after he was found on the concrete sidewalk on the side of 8 Pond St. in Naugatuck.
Kyle Gonzalez, of 10 Anderson St., and Matthew Chandler, of Myrtle Avenue, Naugatuck, were charged Thursday with first-degree assault in connection to Martinez’s injuries.
Multiple witnesses, most who were in their 20s, were at a party in the apartment, according to court documents released Friday. The fight that led up to Martinez’s plunge from the window appeared to have erupted after a game of beer pong, a drinking game played with cups, ping-pong balls and a table.
Although police recorded varying statements from witnesses about the fight, one thing was clear — Martinez suffered serious, long-term injuries from the fall. He fractured his skull, broke both legs, bruised his heart, ruptured his bowels and had bleeding in his brain.
A prosecutor said Friday he received information that Martinez was using a ventilator to breath, while police have said he was on life support.
The apartment was a wreck when police arrived early Wednesday morning to deal with brawl. Shards of glass were on the ground, blood smears were on the wall and the lower half of a fourth-floor bedroom window was shattered.
Several men, including Gonzalez, were playing beer pong and had placed a $10 bet on the outcome, according to several witnesses. The fight, which may have included up to seven people, including Martinez, erupted when one team lost. Several men punched each other and bottles were thrown during the vicious brawl, multiple witnesses told police.
The woman who hosted the party, Stephanie Dwyer, told police that Martinez smashed a large aquarium that held a gecko on her head during the melee. When she tried to rise, he hit her on the head with a computer monitor, she told police.
Paul Butler, whose face had swollen to the size of a softball when police found him, said he was jumped in the fight, but saw Chandler and Gonzalez chase Martinez up a flight of apartment stairs that led to the fourth floor. But how Martinez fell from the window to the pavement below is unclear.
Gonzalez’s brother told police that Chandler arrived at his home early on the morning of the fight covered in blood. Chandler told the man that they had been jumped by men at a party, but when they chased one of combatants into a bedroom, he jumped from a window.
A witness told police that Gonzalez told her Martinez pulled a knife on him, so he kicked him out of a window, court documents indicate.
Chandler gave a different version to police, saying he was talking with an exgirlfriend at the party when several men “jumped” Gonzalez in the kitchen. Chandler told police Martinez hit him with a bottle when he intervened and Gonzalez chased him up a set of apartment stairs, but he didn’t know what happened after that.
Chandler’s father, Shawn Chandler, and a friend who said she was at the party that night, said Friday that Martinez came after Chandler with shards of glass during the fight, which sliced deeply into his palm when he raised his hand to defend himself.
Shawn Chandler said he removed a shard of glass that was about the size of a fingernail from his son’s neck.
A white bandage was wrapped around Chandler’s hand during his arraignment Friday in Waterbury Superior Court. Although his attorney, Ioannis Kaloidis, said Chandler didn’t have a criminal record and the facts of the case seemed to be unclear, Judge Roland Fasano set his bond at $500,000.
“It’s our position that Mr. Chandler was attacked in this situation,” Kaloidis said.
Gonzalez, who also faces a second-degree assault charge, is being held on bonds totaling $700,000. Both men are expected back in court later this month.