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Police- Video shot by suspect is key evidence in assault

Sunday, June 15, 2003

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A teenager is facing assault charges for a sucker punch videotaped by a friend, but the charges never would have been filed if news stations across the state hadn't repeatedly broadcast the video.

A witness led police to the teen with the videocamera, who still had the footage in hand, but the victim was gone. With no victim, no charges would be filed.

Then the local television stations got the videotape.

Ryan Browne, 21, came forward a few days after later, saying a friend had recognized him on the news. Since then, he has been inundated with televised slow-motion images of himself falling to the ground after a vicious punch to the face.

Browne, of Grosse Pointe, Mich., had just picked up his cap and gown for graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design and was listening to music on headphones when he was approached by a stranger, who punched him in the face and then ran off.

'Random, vicious attack'

He said he didn't initially report the crime because he didn't know the extent of his injuries, which turned out to be a broken hand when he fell.

"It was a very random, vicious attack that was probably done for what they perceived to be excitement or fun," said police Lt. Terrance Crawley.

Rogerio Alves, 18, who allegedly shot the videotape and a 17-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, were charged Wednesday with misdemeanor assault and conspiracy to commit misdemeanor assault.

A man who identified himself only as Alves' father refused to say why his son videotaped the assault. He said the "truth will come out" once his son appears in court.


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