Chelsea man held after a standoff

Faces charge of kidnapping

By Stewart Bishop
Globe Correspondent / July 4, 2011

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A Chelsea man arrested after a tense standoff with police following a shooting and alleged kidnapping is expected to be arraigned tomorrow in Quincy District Court, authorities said.

Charles N. Diorio, 49, is suspected of shooting 74-year-old Patrick Murphy, the building manager of the rooming house where Diorio lived in Chelsea, on Saturday night, according to police and the victim.

Shortly before midnight, police in Chelsea responded to a rooming house on Fifth Street, where they found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds to the back and arm, said Captain Keith Houghton, a Chelsea police spokesman.

The victim, who was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and later released, had been in an altercation with Diorio, who fled the scene on foot after attempting to carjack a vehicle, Houghton said.

About 5 a.m. yesterday, police in Braintree said, a 46-year-old woman came to the police station and said Diorio, whom she knew by another name, had forced his way into her Washington Street apartment about 1 a.m. and held her there against her will while armed with a semiautomatic pistol, according to Deputy Chief Russell Jenkins, a Braintree police spokesman.

Sometime before 5 a.m., the woman escaped with the help of a friend, who drove her to the police station, Jenkins said.

Knowing that Diorio was armed and wanted in the Chelsea shooting, Braintree police called in the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council SWAT team to assist in his capture, Jenkins said.

After surrounding the building and evacuating about a dozen of the other residents, crisis negotiators persuaded Diorio to surrender about 9:15 a.m., Jenkins said.

“There was a lot of dialogue back and forth,’’ Jenkins said of the standoff. “He prolonged the situation for a brief period of time, but he did eventually come out.’’

A woman who answered the door yesterday at the Braintree woman’s apartment declined to comment.

Patti Feeney, 53, who lives across the street from the Washington Street apartment building, said she was shocked to wake up and find heavily armed police in bulletproof vests across the street.

“That’s not the thing you expect on a Sunday morning, that’s for sure,’’ Feeney said. “It was pretty crazy.’’

Yesterday, at his home on Fifth Street, a visibly wounded Murphy said Diorio had been arguing with another man in the rooming house when the confrontation turned violent.

Murphy said he went to intervene and saw that Diorio had pulled a gun and pointed it at the other man’s face.

“I could hear the argument turn threatening,’’ Murphy said. “So I went over to him and said ‘leave the kid alone.’ ’’

Murphy said that as he walked back toward his room, Diorio fired three shots, striking him once in the right arm and once in the back. Neither wound was life-threatening, Houghton said.

Murphy said Diorio had been a resident of the building since July 2009.

“And he’s a bad shot, too,’’ Murphy said.

Diorio was charged in Braintree with armed assault in a dwelling, kidnapping, witness intimidation, threats to commit a crime, illegal possession of a firearm, giving a false name to police after arrest, and being a fugitive from justice, Jenkins said. Diorio is wanted for a parole violation in California. According to the California Department of Justice, he is a sex offender who has been in violation of registration requirements since April 2009.

In 1988, Diorio was convicted of raping a woman in New York, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Diorio is scheduled to be arraigned on the Braintree charges tomorrow in Quincy District Court. Charges related to the shooting are pending in Chelsea, Houghton said.

Stewart Bishop can be reached at