RI Man Who Robbed North Attleboro Store, Stole a Vehicle and Led Police on a Chase Sentenced to State Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
District Attorney

Press Release
March 2, 2016
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today that a 50-year-old Narragansett, RI man who broke into and robbed a small engine shop before leading police on a chase in hazardous wintry conditions last February was convicted of a litany of crimes yesterday and sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison.

Dennis Bautista submitted an “unagreed plea” to Superior Court Judge Gregg Pasquale Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court. Mr. Bautista pleaded guilty to charges of breaking and entering, larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny from a building, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, resisting arrest, and assault and battery. During Tuesday’s plea hearing, Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra argued for a 7 to 10 year prison sentence based on the seriousness of the charges and the defendant’s lengthy criminal record. Mr. Bautista’s defense recommended a three to five year prison sentence.

After hearing from both sides, Judge Pasquale sentenced the defendant to four to six years in state prison, to be followed by two years of supervised probation. The conditions of his probation included paying $500 restitution the owner of the vehicle he stole to attempt to elude police, abstinence from illicit drug use, including marijuana, with random testing.

On February 13, 2015 at 8:45pm the alarm system at J&J Small Engine Shop on Route 1 in North Attleboro went off. North Attleboro Police responded and determined that the front glass door had been smashed with a hammer. Two cash drawers were broken and cash was taken.

Officers traveled a short distance from J & J Small Equipment to a local hotel to continue their investigation. Moments later, a pizza delivery driver ran into the hotel lobby saying, “he took my car”. The suspect, now in a stolen car, was raced down Route 1, heading for Route 295. The defendant was weaving in and out of traffic t speeds around 60 MPH. Due to the busy traffic along Route 1, police called off the pursuit to protect the public from potential injury, but aerial pursuit by a Massachusetts State Police helicopter continued.

As the defendant entered the Route 295 southbound ramp, the vehicle spun out and plowed into a snowbank. Mr. Bautista exited the car and fled on foot across Route 295 and over a fence into the Emerald Square Mall area.

Police eventually located Mr. Bautista hiding in a wooded area adjacent to the mall. Mr. Bautista refused commands to surrender and continued to fight police as they took him into custody. Once at the police station, Mr. Bautista kicked a police dispatcher Glenn Perron.

“This defendant is a career criminal who has been committing crimes for several years,” District Attorney Quinn said “In my view, this is the type of individual who should be in prison for a longer, rather than shorter, period of time.”
Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications