PEMBROKE, Mass. — It appears Massachusetts State Police are building a case for potentially more arrests and charges after a holiday party thrown by Hi-Way Safety Systems.
As we’ve reported, the party is connected to at least two drunken driving arrests, including one OUI crash that left a teenager dead and another critically hurt. It’s also connected to a death investigation after one employee died the morning after the party.
Court documents are revealing new details on what lead up to that employee’s death.
A pool house behind the home of Hi-Way Safety Systems owners Ken Horn and Kathy Delong is the center of the investigation, and investigators want to know what happened there. A neighbor told Boston 25 News they host an after-party here for employees every year and nothing bad has ever happened, but this year, things seemingly got out of control.
Witnesses told police employees Joseph Amaral and Richard Blount started fighting inside the pool house around 6:20 in the morning and the party broke up after the fight. Just 90 minutes later, police were called to a Rockland hotel where they found Amaral unconscious. A state police search warrant indicates, “upon arrival, first responders located the victim, identified as Joseph Amaral, unresponsive in hotel room bathroom floor.”
A witness at the party told police Amaral was sucker-punched, left with a swollen face covered in bruises and a bleeding nose and that “Joseph Amaral complained of not being able to breathe correctly.”
The search warrant also discusses Facebook posts on Richard Blount’s page.
We captured images of those same posts weeks ago when the investigation first began.
They read in part, "I can’t believe this is happening! I’m so sorry Joe that fight was never meant to happen...what happened after, I still can’t accept is even real."
According to a 12-page search warrant, state police also seized Hi-Way Safety Systems owner Ken Horn’s cell phone.
And they plan to search it for any information about the fight at his house involving Blount and Amaral.
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