Man accused of assaulting child in Dorchester

Manuel Cardoso, 44, faces charges of assault and battery on a child under 14 and kidnapping

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A Boston man is accused of grabbing and trying to drag a child away from a Fourth of July gathering in the city's Dorchester neighborhood, according to police.

Manuel Cardoso, 44, faces charges of assault and battery on a child under 14 and kidnapping.



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Investigators said they were called to a home on Wentworth Street after a stranger walked up the driveway. According to witnesses, the man tried to pee on the house and began speaking with a few children. When the man was told to leave, he allegedly grabbed one of the children by the back of the neck and tried to drag the child toward the street.

Witnesses jumped in and physically removed the man from the property, according to police. Officers found a suspect, identified as Cardoso, on Darlington Street.

Cardoso was set to be arraigned Friday afternoon at Dorchester District Court. He was permitted to hide behind a door during his court appearance, and the arraignment was put on hold until a mental health evaluation can be conducted at Bridgewater State Hospital on the recommendation of a court-appointed doctor.

"I spoke to the attorney, I spoke to his sister, I also spoke to the defendant," said Dr. Anne Johnson, a forensic psychologist. "In my opinion, regarding his competence, he really can't have any coherent conversation."

Cardoso "sustained serious facial injuries," Johnson said in court.

"I don't know if that's affecting his mental status. I don't know what these deficits are due to," she said. "At this time, it is my opinion that he requires further evaluation of his competence to stand trial."

A woman who knows Cardoso told NBC10 Boston off-camera that he was beaten up by people at the party and that he was not trying to kidnap the child.

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