The video of a vicious attack on a New Hampshire teen in the parking lot of a Planet Fitness has captured the attention of thousands of people since police released the clip last month.
Police in Rochester, New Hampshire, shared the video, hoping to identify the man who they said punched the 18-year-old woman 39 times on June 12. A month and more than 200,000 views later, the department arrested a man Monday in connection to the assault. The suspect, Jordan Lamonde, 22, of Portsmouth, pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault in Strafford Superior Court.
“This was a vicious, unprovoked attack that shocked our community, and I am proud to report that the suspect has been identified and apprehended,” Rochester Chief of Police Paul Toussaint said on Facebook Monday.
Court records obtained by local news outlets Tuesday revealed new details about the alleged motive for the attack and the connection prosecutors say the alleged assailant has to the victim.
According to CBS News, Lamonde waited for the woman, Erin McCarthy, for almost her whole eight-hour shift at the Planet Fitness in Rochester on June 12.
Police said video shows a car pulling into the gym’s parking lot around 2:20 p.m., getting closer to McCarthy’s car as it moves to different spots during the day. Detectives have said the vehicle belonged to Lamonde and was registered to his grandmother.
The surveillance video released by authorities following the attack shows a man wearing sunglasses and a cap get out of the car and approach the gym around 10 p.m. As McCarthy moves toward her car, the man comes up behind her and hits her.
The released video cuts out after the first blow, but police said McCarthy was punched 39 times, thrown to the ground, and kneed in the head, seriously injuring her.
The alleged motive
Court records revealed that authorities believe the attack was an indirect act of revenge against the brother of McCarthy’s ex-boyfriend, according to The Boston Globe. Prosecutors allege Lamonde decided to attack her because he believed her then-boyfriend’s brother, Joe Bunch, stole his safe, which contained $30,000 in cash, the paper reports.
McCarthy’s ex-boyfriend said in a police affidavit that he had been good friends with Lamonde before he accused his brother of theft, according to CBS News.
She told Foster’s Daily Democrat that she sustained bumps on the back of her head and face and was released from the hospital the night of the attack.
She told the newspaper that initially she thought the surprise attack was “someone messing with” her and turned around “laughing” at first.
“He didn’t say a single word,” she told the Daily Democrat. “After the first hit and the second hit, I realized it wasn’t a joke. Obviously, I swore at the kid. But then I asked, ‘Who are you? Why are you doing this?’ He just wasn’t saying anything. He had nothing to say to me. It’s like he wanted to deliberately beat my head in. He didn’t take my stuff. He just waited for me. It was a weird situation.”
On Tuesday, McCarthy told CBS Boston she’s trying to move forward from the attack.
“I haven’t been sketchy, or paranoid or checking over my shoulder or anything but I’m also very careful who I hang out with now though,” she told the station.
Lamonde was arrested by police Monday after he was released from a Portsmouth hospital, according to the AP.
The Globe reports the Portsmouth resident had no prior arrests in the county and court documents say he is currently unemployed.
Lamonde’s defense attorney, John E. Durkin, said his client “has the support of his family,” according to the Globe. According to the newspaper, a former friend of Lamonde’s told police she was positive he was the attacker in the video that was circulated. The same friend told police about Lamonde’s connection to McCarthy through the Bunch family and said he had the same pair of sunglasses that were left behind in the gym’s parking lot by the attacker, according to the Globe.
Durkin declined to comment on Lamonde’s connection to McCarthy, according to the Globe.
“The state has the burden of proof,’’ the attorney told the paper. “We will assess the matter once we see all the evidence. If Jordan wants to go to trial, we will go to trial.’’
McCarthy told CBS Boston Tuesday that the woman also messaged her on Facebook after contacting police.
A not-guilty plea to second-degree assault was entered on behalf of Lamonde. According to CBS Boston, a cash bail of $150,000 was waived Tuesday and he was released with orders to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, submit to random drug and alcohol screening, and stay away from McCarthy.