Home » Witness: Accused Murderer 'Jumped' at New Year's Party

Witness: Accused Murderer 'Jumped' at New Year's Party

NEW HARTFORD — A 17-year-old Winsted man, who faces murder charges after a house party erupted into violence on New Year’s Eve, was "jumped by numerous people" during the incident that led to a fatal stabbing, according to Ricky Hardwick, 20, who was injured at the party.

Raymond Martin, 17, of 77 Hinsdale Ave., was charged Monday with the murder of Dustin Arigoni, 21, of Torrington. He was also charged with tampering with evidence, after he allegedly tried to dispose of the murder weapon by throwing it out of a moving vehicle.

Two others were injured during the incident, including Martin, who received non-life-threatening stab wounds and was transported to Sharon Hospital Monday.

Martin was held on $750,000 bond and was scheduled to be arraigned in Litchfield Superior Court Tuesday. Police said that because of the severity of the crime, the 17-year-old will be charged as an adult. He could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted.

Hardwick was also treated for stab wounds at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, after he allegedly tried to break up the fight. He received a slash to his right forearm, requiring numerous stitches to suture the muscle and skin back together, he said Thursday. Even so, Hardwick said he didn’t know anyone had a knife until he was cut.

Hardwick, who said he is friends with Martin’s older brother, Bill, contested several news stories that claimed Martin had crashed the party with a large group of people.

"He didn’t show up with no nine people," he said. "It was just him and one other person."

But he did stand by his earlier statement that it seemed Martin had acted in self-defense.

"Ray was getting jumped by five to 10 people," Hardwick said. When he jumped in to help separate the combatants, Hardwick took a vicious slash to the forearm.

"I didn’t even see a knife," he said.

He said his heart goes out to those touched by this tragedy, but he has nothing further to say about what happened that night.

"It never should have happened. I feel sorry for Dustin’s family, and I feel bad for Ray and his family," Hardwick said. "I’m just really tired of all this."

Sgt. J. Paul Vance said Arigoni had punched Martin in the head. According to area newspapers, when Martin walked into court on Tuesday, he had bruises on his face and wore bandages on his forehead and wrist.

It is still unclear as to whether there was more than one knife involved.

"We do have a knife. So far that was the only knife that was recovered," Vance said Wednesday. He declined to say whether it was the knife Martin allegedly tried to dispose of or whether it was taken from Arigoni or someone else at the party.

"The thing that’s important to know is we’re still looking at all aspects of this case, talking to witnesses and gathering evidence," Vance said.

By all accounts, between 30 and 50 people were in attendance at the party, which was held at 349 Stub Hollow Road. The home belongs to Robert M. Barry, according to the tax assessor’s office. Barry was unavailable for comment.

State Police Troop B responded to a 911 call at 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 31.

According to a press release, the caller reported that there had been a fight or altercation and three people were injured.

Arigoni was pronounced dead upon arrival; Hardwick was treated and released.

According to the press release, the State Police Western District Major Crime Squad is conducting the criminal investigation.

Police said more arrests could follow. Under new liquor laws that took effect Oct. 1, it is unlawful to serve minors alcohol at a house party.

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