Mario Rios, 40, of 85 Aetna St., told police he was at the bar when three men approached him and one asked, “Do you like me?”
Rios told police he replied that he was not gay, but that he respected gay people, and he told the man to watch his mouth. Rios told police the men continued to whistle at him and call him “baby.”
Rios told police he left the bar, got in his van and started driving, but he came back and parked in front of the bar because his wife was on her way. Rios told police he saw the men come out of the bar and he asked, “What’s wrong with you?” When he started to run, one of the men broke the windows of his van, Rios told police.
Police responded to the scene when Rios called just before 1 a.m., said Lt. Bryan Cammarata of the Naugatuck Police Department. En route to the bar, an officer spotted three men walking down Rubber Avenue and got their identifications, Cammarata said. The men — 34-year-old Wayne Zabilski of 25 Orchard Terrace and Luke Ashmore, 34, and Christopher Fox, 35, both of 360 High St. — turned out to match Rios’s description of the men at the bar, Cammarata said. Officers saw the windows of Rios’ van were smashed out and found the three men on Meadow Street, Cammarata said.
Zabilski told police he had seen Rios running down Aetna Street with a machete and Rios had hit him in the lower back with the flat of the blade. Police discovered a cut and a machete-shaped mark on Zabilski’s side, Cammarata said.
When police went back to Rios’ house, he denied using or owning a machete but gave consent to search the property, Cammarata said. Officers found a machete, of the same size and shape as the mark on Zabilski, standing against a wall, Cammarata said. Another occupant of the house told police Rios had the machete “for religious purposes.”
Police charged Rios with reckless endangerment in the first degree, assault in the second degree, carrying a dangerous weapon and threatening. Zabilski, Ashmore and Fox were all charged with breach of peace and Zabilski was also charged with criminal mischief in the third degree after officers determined he was the one who smashed Rios’s windows, Cammarata said.
Rios was held on a $5,000 bond to appear July 15 in Waterbury Superior Court. Zabilski and Fox were released on $1,000 bonds and Ashmore was released on a $2,500 bond. All three were scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court today.