The driver allegedly struck the disabled man with a brick over 20 times, per police

A guy in Massachusetts is facing murder charges after allegedly running down another man, who had previously been injured in a car accident as a child, and beating him with a brick over a dozen times.

Vasco Semedo, 45, reportedly ran over Stuart Smith, 50, with his Toyota SUV on Saturday morning, according to a news release from the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. Several witnesses called police to report “a motor vehicle versus pedestrian crash” in Brockton, approximately 25 miles south of Boston.

When police arrived, they saw Semedo being detained by persons at the location.

Smith was discovered “unresponsive on the pavement in front of the motor vehicle” and transported to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

People who witnessed the events described a violent and gory sight, according to the district attorney’s office.

“Through witness accounts and surveillance video footage, investigators found that Semedo, operating a Toyota RAV 4, struck Smith with his motor vehicle, backed up, drove into the victim again, before exiting the vehicle and striking Smith more than 20 times with a brick as he lay on the ground,” according to a news release.

According to Boston Fox affiliate WFXT, prosecutors said Semedo appeared to hit Smith on purpose, crashing his car into a brick wall and using the wreckage as a weapon.

According to NBC station WBTS, Smith was a beloved person in his town.

“He was a beacon of light to his friends and family,” the victim’s brother Damien Smith told the news outlet. Stuart Smith’s family also stated that he had struggled with mental health issues throughout his life after being injured by a car as a child.

“Everybody knew him, and they just came to surround him and help him, and they kept the perpetrator there so he couldn’t leave,” Smith’s sister, Rosemary Schneider, explained. “I think that speaks volumes to my brother’s character.”

According to neighbors, Smith was well-known throughout the area.

“He didn’t probably do anything to deserve that, that’s awful,” Tara Manning told the station. “He was a figure around here; I can’t believe he had to go out that way; was someone that angry that they killed him? “That’s crazy.”

According to WBTS, Smith was frequently spotted collecting scrap metal and placing it into a shopping cart to sell.

“I think it was a rotten thing to do to Stewie,” said Janis Jefferson, who lived in the same rooming house with Smith. “He was quite a guy, he really helped a lot of people.”

Police have not disclosed if Semedo and Smith knew one other or provided any information about a probable motive.

Semedo was charged with one count each of homicide and careless operation of a motor vehicle. He has pled not guilty, according to the District Attorney’s office, and is being held without bond.

Semedo’s probable cause hearing is planned for May 14, according to the district attorney’s office.

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