East Providence Police snatch drive-by shooting suspect

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EAST PROVIDENCE — East Providence Police have arrested and charged Roberto Escaler for his involvement in the drive-by shooting of a residence in city on Orchard Street.

The incident occurred Tuesday night, Sept. 4. Detectives were granted a warrant for the suspect's arrest Sept. 5. Accompanied by his lawyer, Mr. Escaler, 35, of 133 Cala Street, Providence, turned himself in at the East Providence Police Department on Sept. 6.

According to EPPD Detective Captain Richard Frazier, Mr. Escaler was charged with seven felony counts, one for the drive-by action and six for assault with a deadly weapon. Mr. Escaler is alleged to have fired seven rounds, six of which entered the first-floor residence at 68 Orchard St. at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 6.

The car Mr. Escaler was believed to have been driving was found abandoned on the South Side of Providence shortly after the incident.

Capt. Frazier said detectives believe to know what kind of weapon was used in the incident, but have yet to recover it.

Through interviews with witnesses, diligent police work and due to a previous incident involving the suspect and the victims, detectives were able to gather enough evidence to secure a warrant for Mr. Escaler's arrest from Six District Court on Wednesday.

The suspect and his attorney came to the EPPD's Waterman Avenue headquarters on Thursday. He was taken into custody and was scheduled to appear in court to face the charges Friday, Sept. 7.

"We still have work to do," said Capt. Frazier. "Of course, we'd like to find the weapon, but we're pretty confident at this point that we have our suspect. But we'll continue to investigate."

Capt. Frazier credited the efforts of all EPPD detectives in the division. Detective Sergeant Bruce Atwell led the investigation.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.