Onset native, former boxing champ held on $50,000 bail after alleged crime spree
Nine years ago, boxer Anthony J. Vieira was a national champion with international aspirations. On Friday, Feb. 8, authorities described him as “desperate and dangerous” after he allegedly attacked a police officer and robbed two Wareham businesses.
These incidents were the latest in a crime spree that began over a week ago when Vieira skipped bail on Jan. 28, according to police.
Vieira, 24, formerly of Onset, has been charged with breaking and entering (two counts), larceny from a building over $1,200, larceny from a building under $1,200, malicious destruction of property (two counts), resisting arrest (two counts), assault and battery on a police officer (two counts) and threats to commit a crime. He was arraigned Feb. 8 in Wareham District Court.
The Plymouth County District Attorney’s office requested Vieira’s previous bail be revoked and that his new bail be set at $25,000. Judge Therse Wright ordered his new bail to be set at $50,000.
The hearing capped a search for the former champion, who had won the 145-pound junior Olympic boxing title in 2010 and was recognized by the town with a proclamation.
Police began their search for Vieira on Jan. 29, one day after he failed to appear in Wareham District Court on theft-related charges.
Police said Vieira committed new felonies while on the run in Fall River on Feb. 5, but did not disclose the nature of those crimes.
On Feb. 6, police renewed their call for help in locating him.
Vieira was initially arrested in connection with two break-ins at Wareham jewelry stores in October 2018.
He is accused of stealing more than $1,200 worth of property alongside 21-year-old Erin Pardi of Wareham from both Gold World and AJ Marks Co. on Cranberry Highway.
Vieira was arrested for these robberies on Nov. 4 after he allegedly led police on a foot chase near the Woods of Wareham housing complex.
On Nov. 5, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office requested Vieira be held on $10,000 bail. This amount was rejected by Judge Edward Sharkansky, who reduced bail to $3,500. Vieira made bail in early December and was released.
With reports of Vieira’s alleged new crimes coming in, police stepped up their search efforts.
A break in the case arrived at 2:54 a.m. on Feb. 8 when police said they were alerted to a potential robbery in progress at AJ Marks Co.
According to reports, security camera footage at the store showed a man in white hoodie believed to be Vieira breaking and entering into the building.
Police began a search for Vieira, locking down the area with the help from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department.
Within minutes, Officer Aaron Pacheco reportedly located Vieira on Cahoon Road and ordered him to the ground.
Police said Vieira initially compiled, but knocked Pacheco off balance while the officer attempted to handcuff him. Pacheco then reportedly deployed his taser, but was unable to stop Vieira from escaping
Officials said Vieira injured Pacheco, who was was treated and released from Tobey Hospital the same day. Pacheco remains out of work due to his injuries, police said.
Later that same morning, Wareham Police received a report of another break-in at the 7-Eleven on Barker Road.
According to reports, $60 was stolen from the store’s register. Security camera footage showed a man dressed similarly to Vieira entering the building, police said.
At 6:38 a.m., Wareham Police put out an urgent call seeking the public’s help in finding Vieira.
“Vieira is a desperate and dangerous individual that needs to be caught!” Acting Police Chief John Walcek said in an email sent to media outlets.
At 7 a.m., several officers reportedly responded a home on Charge Pond Road at the direction of Wareham’s Detective Division, who believed Vieira to be hiding at the address.
Officers reportedly secured the house and were permitted entrance by the homeowner upon arrival.
According to court documents, Vieira was found hiding in the basement of the home behind a mattress.
A violent scuffle with officers then allegedly ensued with Officer Ryan Turner being kicked by Vieira. Vieira also reportedly threw punches at Officer Corner before being subdued with help from additional officers.
In addition to Vieira, three other individuals were placed under arrest at the home and charged with accessory after the fact of a felony and misleading a police investigation.
These individual ares Samantha Bergeron, 25, of Wareham, Briana Raponi, 32, of no certain address and Marcus Agee, 25, of Wareham.
Both Agee and Raponi were ordered held on $1,000 bail by Judge Wright. Bergeron was ordered held on $500 bail.
Police said Vieira remained combative at the police station, threatening officers.
While in custody, he was transported to Tobey Hospital for treatment of a wound believed to have been obtained while scaling barbed wire fence.
Vieira’s recent imprisonment comes six years after he had stepped back into the ring.
According to media reports, he was training hard for Olympic trials in a comeback bid after a six-month stint in juvenile detention.
As a teen and young adult, Vieira amassed an impressive boxing record. At 16, he was the United State’s 145-pound junior Olympic boxing champion.
In 2013, he was fighting well with a nine-fight consecutive win streak after his release from juvenile detention. According to reports, he was weighing a decision to turn pro or pursue his dream of boxing in the Olympics.
“Boxing is the only thing that keeps me right,” Vieira told the New Bedford Standard-Times in 2013. “I messed things up because I got cocky…I’ve got a future in it. I’m not in school and I don’t have another career lined up. Boxing is the only thing I’ve got going for me.”
Vieira is scheduled to appear again in Wareham District Court on March 4.