BENNINGTON — An individual involved in a Bennington gunfight that was caught on a doorbell surveillance video last September has been issued another arrest warrant on unrelated charges.
Jonathan Nazario, 20, of Springfield, Mass., is now wanted on charges of aggravated vehicle operation without consent and petit larceny, just three weeks after the shooting incident. Bennington Judge Kerry McDonald-Cady issued the arrest warrant Tuesday in the amount of $5,000 at the request of prosecutors in the case. Nazario already has an outstanding arrest warrant in the September shooting caught on a neighbor’s doorbell video. That warrant carries an immediate hold without bail order due to the seriousness of the crime. Nazario is charged in that case with attempted murder.
Nazario is also charged in a third case, where he is facing three more counts — fentanyl trafficking, cocaine possession, and eluding a law enforcement officer from an incident — just one week after the alleged shooting incident. A third arrest warrant is currently pending for those charges.
According to a police affidavit, a doorbell video recorder across from a Bennington apartment complex at 715 Main St. allegedly caught Nazario and three other individuals entering and leaving an apartment staircase right before a volley of bullets flew from an upstairs window, followed by the unmistakable sounds of a gunfight. Bennington Police recovered the video from a neighboring home during an investigation into a report of a possible shooting and several people yelling at a cemetery near 715 Main St. just before midnight on Sept. 22.
The motion-sensor video recorder, given to police at the scene by a community member, shows three people loitering in the dark alley outside an external staircase leading to a landing at 715 Main St. before all three climb up the stairs. The video recorder is then triggered again as two individuals come down the staircase and head off in opposite directions, one toward Main Street and the other toward the Village Cemetery on Morgan Street.
Moments later, the video shows someone shooting out of a second-floor window in that building, as several rounds echo loudly in the darkness and gunshot smoke billows from the window. The initial shots are immediately followed by what sounds like multiple gunshots from several directions simultaneously. Nazario is allegedly one of those individuals. He is charged with attempted murder in that case.
The vehicle and theft charges stem from an incident on Oct. 17, in which the victim told police that Nazario and a second individual took her Mazda MZ3 without her permission. The victim told police that an iPad was taken along with the car. The car was eventually located in the Springfield/Holyoke area of Massachusetts but has not been recovered.
According to police, the drug incident happened Oct. 3 in Bennington, when a Bennington police K-9 unit attempted to pull over a white Cadillac that was allegedly observed violating several traffic laws. The driver of the vehicle, Nazario, attempted to flee from the officer at a high rate of speed. Officers located the vehicle several minutes later, empty and abandoned. Gracie, the Bennington K-9 officer, indicated drugs present in the car. Nazario and another individual were located a short distance away. Four hundred thirty glassine envelopes were found inside the car. Nazario had the key to the Cadillac in his front pocket, police said.
Nazario was granted bail with conditions after his arrest. He subsequently failed to appear in court as instructed.
Nazario faces life imprisonment on the attempted murder charge. He faces five years behind bars on the vehicle charge and an additional year on the larceny charge if convicted. The fentanyl, cocaine, and eluding an officer charges carry a combined maximum 36-year sentence if convicted.
Nazario has yet to be located. He is from Springfield, Mass., and is believed to be an alleged street gang member in that location.