Richard Rovelli, of South Hadley, denies attempted murder charge related to kayak oar beating Victim: 'I feared for my life'

Last modified: Tuesday, July 01, 2014

WESTFIELD — A South Hadley man is being held without bail on attempted murder and other charges after he allegedly attacked another man with an oar and held his head under water at Hampton Ponds.

Richard Rovelli, 23, of 43 North Main St. Apt. #2, pleaded not guilty in Westfield District Court on June 23 to attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

According to the Westfield District Court clerk magistrate’s office, Rovelli’s bail was revoked because he is involved in other open criminal cases. No information was available from the clerk magistrate’s office about those cases.

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According to court files, about 8:05 p.m. June 20, police were dispatched to the pond for a report of a capsized boat and two men fighting with boat oars.

In an application for a criminal complaint, police said Rovelli was in a kayak and began yelling at a man in another kayak who said Rovelli had crashed into him. Rovelli began swinging his oar at the other kayaker, striking him in the head three times and the chest once.

In his statement to police, the alleged victim said he used his oar to try and push Rovelli’s kayak away and Rovelli fell into the water when he did so.

Rovelli swam to the man’s boat, pulled him into the water and completely submerged his head. “During this attack, I feared for my life. I believed this male was trying to kill me,” the alleged victim said in his statement.

The man said the attack stopped after he was able to pull his kayak between himself and Rovelli.

Rovelli told police it was the other man who attacked him. Rovelli was taken to Noble Hospital in Westfield where he received six staples for treatment of a cut to his head although he did not explain how he received that injury, according to court files.

Rovelli is due back in court Thursday, according to the clerk magistrate’s office.

Bob Dunn can be reached at


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