Tattoo Shop Mace Attack Leads To Attempted Murder Charge
A Hammonton man faces trial for attempted murder, charged with beating an Atlantic City Electric worker senseless with a weapon resembling a medieval mace.
Roberto Vazquez, 37, is accused of attacking Matthew Pinto III, 53, also of Hammonton, as he tried to disconnect electricity powering Vazquez’s business, the White Horse Ink tattoo parlor, this past February 8.
Prosecutors in Mays Landing contend that after seeing Pinto on the premises, Vazquez went home and brought back a weapon with a 16-inch wooden handle, connected by chains to a pair of metal spheres with protruding spikes.
Vazquez is accused of beating Pinto into unconsciousness, then taking the utility worker back to his dwelling. Prosecutors say that when Pinto reawakened, bleeding from the head, Vazquez warned him not to go to police.
Pinto is said to have driven to Hammonton Police Headquarters, where officers found him on the building’s front steps, dazed and bleeding. He was treated at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.
Prosecutors also allege that Vazquez had been cut off by the electric company once before, but reconnected the power himself by cutting a lock and tampering with the meter. They assert that Vazquez owed Atlantic City Electric more than $1,200.
Vazquez is also charged with aggravated assault, evidence tampering, obstruction of justice, hindering apprehension, theft of services and weapons offenses. He remains in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, with bail set at $100,000.