A Framingham pizza deliveryman pleaded guilty to a total of nine criminal charges, including four civil rights violations, for an attack on four friends in Boston’s South End last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced.
FABIO BRANDAO (D.O.B. 9/1/79) admitted to his role in the beating of three men and one woman, all between the ages of 23 and 27 at the time, as they walked peacefully down Columbus Avenue in the early morning hours of Aug. 24. In addition to taking part in the beating, Brandao referred to the victims as “faggots” as he struck and kicked them. Brandao was one of four assailants, three of whom remain at large.
Brandao’s case was scheduled for trial in the Boston Municipal Court today. When notified that Brandao was willing to plead guilty to the charges, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Bonasera recommended a jail term of one year with six months to serve and the balance suspended for a probationary term of 18 months.
Bonasera further recommended that Brandao be ordered to pay full restitution to all four of the victims for $4250 in medical bills and related expenses by Nov. 25; that he be ordered to stay away from the victims and out of the South End; that he undergo court clinic evaluations for alcohol abuse and anger management; and that he take part in and complete an anger management program.
Judge Thomas C. Horgan declined to incarcerate Brandao, instead handing down a two-year jail term that he suspended for two years. He set all the terms recommended by prosecutors with the exception of alcohol evaluation. If Brandao abides by those terms for two years and does not reoffend, he will not face jail time.
“Should Mr. Brandao violate any of the terms or conditions set forth today, Mr. Brandao will be incarcerated,” Horgan said from the bench. “That incarceration period will exceed the Commonwealth’s recommendation.”
Horgan retained jurisdiction over the case in the event that Brandao does not abide by the terms of his release. For his part, Brandao’s attorney recommended straight probation.
Prior to sentencing, the victims addressed the court to tell of how the attack changed their lives.
One man, whose facial injuries required stitches, told Horgan of the scars he still bears – inside and out.
“Every time I look in the mirror, that’s what I see,” he said. “I had to leave the city. My whole life has been turned upside down.”
Another victim rued the faith she had in her fellow citizens.
“I was really naïve to believe that there was good in everyone,” she said. “I can’t walk down the street by myself anymore.”
A man who was taunted but not physically injured noted the irony of the attack’s location.
“You’d think the South End was the one place where you can walk down the street safely as a gay man,” he said.
Boston Police and emergency medical technicians responded to the scene shortly before 3:00 that morning after a 911 call from one of the victims. That victim told investigators that four men in a white vehicle had accosted them from inside the car, then exited it and attacked them.
That victim also had the presence of mind to note the car’s license plate number and recite it to 911 dispatchers. That plate and a cell phone found at the scene were crucial to Boston Police detectives assigned to the Community Disorders Unit as they investigated the case – both, it turned out, belonged to Brandao.
Despite the efforts of CDU detectives and Suffolk prosecutors, and despite public pronouncements urging other witnesses to come forward, the other three attackers were never identified. The case remains open, however, and others could still be prosecuted for their roles in the attack, Conley said.
Jennifer Stott acted as the victim-witness advocate in the case. The defendant was represented by attorney Francis Doran.