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ALEX ORTIZ 

Shots fired during large New Year's fight in Manchester

MANCHESTER — Several shots were fired during a fight involving as many as 40 people early Wednesday morning near Laurel and Beech streets.

Two men were still fighting when police arrived at the scene after being called at 1:45 a.m.

Officer Casey Finn told the men to stop and they took off running. Finn chased after them, and one ducked into a doorway and out of sight. Finn caught up to the second man in an alley.

He arrested the man, identified as Frankie Peralta, 28, of 197 Laurel St., on a charge of resisting arrest.

Finn then spoke with the person who called police. The witness told the officer the fight involved up to 40 people and that he saw one man fire a gun at least three times. Finn recovered a 9 mm casing at the scene along with a denim vest that was next to it.

The gunman was described as a Hispanic man, about 5-foot-9, with black curly hair, wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt.

Alex Ortiz, 21,of 313 Lowell St., told police he owned the vest and wanted it back. Police didn't return it because it was taken as evidence, and Ortiz wound up in handcuffs after he protested an officer seizing his vest and caused a disturbance at the scene.

While being booked at the station, Ortiz spat at one of the officers, according to police, and subsequently was charged with simple assault.


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