Hudson Man Charged With Civil Rights Violation After Fatal Confrontation in Belmont

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BELMONT – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Belmont Chief of Police James MacIsaac today, January 20, confirmed that Dean Kapsalis, 54 of Hudson was arraigned today in Cambridge District Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury in connection with striking and killing Henry Tapia, 35 of Boston last night on Upland Road in Belmont.

Judge Robert Harnais ordered the defendant held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for January 25, 2021 at 11 a.m.

The preliminary investigation suggests that last night, January 19, 2020, around 4:22 p.m. Belmont Police received a 911 call for man that had been struck by a car in the area of 39-45 Upland Road.

Police immediately responded and located Tapia conscious but suffering from life-threatening injuries. First responders provided emergency assistance until Belmont Rescue arrived on the scene. Tapia was transported from the scene to Massachusetts General Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The subsequent investigation allegedly revealed that the defendant and the victim were engaged in verbal altercation in the roadway when the defendant began yelling racial slurs at the victim, a Black man. 

Witnesses reported hearing the two men arguing before the victim allegedly began to walk back to his vehicle, a Honda Civic. 

At that time, the defendant allegedly entered his vehicle, a Dodge Dakota pickup truck and drove it at the victim striking him by the driver’s side of his vehicle and dragging him a short distance before fleeing the scene.

Following officer’s arrival on scene a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) was issued for a red pickup truck reportedly involved in the crash.  The defendant ultimately turned himself in to police about a half-hour later.

This is an active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Belmont Police.

A reconstruction of the crash will be conducted by the Massachusetts State Police Crash Reconstruction and Analysis Section and additional charges are possible.

The prosecutor that handled today’s arraignment was David Yasinovsky. 

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Nicole Allain. The Victim Witness Advocate is Cara Spencer.

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