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Police: Man beaten with bat in road-rage incident

A Warwick man is facing charges after police say he beat another man with a baseball bat at a local gas station during a road rage incident.

James Germalm, 47, of 235 Holmes Road, Warwick, is charged with three counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of disorderly conduct. He was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment and was due to be arraigned at the hospital.

According to Cranston Police, officers responded to the Mobil gas station at the intersection of Park and Elmwood avenues at approximately 2:42 p.m. on May 24 following reports of a disturbance. Dispatchers advised that numerous callers reported two men fighting in the station’s park lot and that a pipe or similar item may have been involved. Subsequent reports clarified that the incident had escalated into an assault following a car accident.

At the scene, officers found a large crowd of people, including several who were restraining the suspect – later identified as Germalm – to prevent him from continuing to strike the victim. The item in the attack was confirmed to be a baseball bat. The victim is said to have been on the floor inside the gas station, bleeding from the head.

The victim told police he and a friend had been stopped in traffic at the intersection of Park and Elmwood avenues when their vehicle was intentionally rammed by another vehicle. The victim said he attempted to flee on foot but was pursued by the other vehicle’s driver, who struck him at least twice with the bat, including once in the head. Police say the incident was captured on surveillance video.

The condition of the victim was unclear at press time. Police say Germalm suffered broken ribs and a concussion as a result of efforts to restrain him prior to his arrest.

Additionally, Cranston Police said Warwick Police “are investigating a potential incident in the city of Warwick that is believed to have occurred prior to this collision and assault.”

Car strikes storefront after pursuit

A car crashed into a building on Park Avenue on Memorial Day after a pursuit that began in Warwick, according to Warwick Police.

The operator – Robert P. Disumma, 54, of 993 Manton Ave. in Providence – was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment of minor injuries following the crash, police said. He is being charged with eluding a police officer and other motor vehicle offenses, and additionally charges may be filed pending the results of toxicology testing.

Warwick Police say the incident began at approximately 8:35 p.m. when an officer checked on a vehicle that appeared to be disabled on West Shore Road near the intersection with Sarah Teft Drive.

The operator is said to have told the officer he was having an issue with his vehicle’s brakes. The officer reportedly observed indications that the man was intoxicated, including slurred speech.

At that point, the vehicle fled the scene and was pursued as it traveled north on Warwick Avenue toward Cranston. The pursuit was terminated in the area of 400 Warwick Ave. “due to the fleeing vehicle’s increasingly dangerous speed,” according to police.

After he entered Cranston, the operator lost control and the vehicle crashed into the building at 145 Park Ave.

The specific storefront involved is vacant, although there are businesses in adjacent spaces. The site has been the subject of intense debate in recent years over plans for it to house a new Cumberland Farms.

No other injuries were reported.

-- Daniel Kittredge

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