Criminal cases mount for local man

Ian Kessel

A well-known Haverhill man who has repeatedly been in trouble with police — once causing them to park an armored vehicle outside his family’s Bradford home — is facing new criminal charges.

This time, Ian Kessel is charged with an unprovoked attack on his cousin which left the young man bloody from cuts to his face and neck, police said.

Kessel’s girlfriend also participated in the assault, kicking the cousin in the groin and threatening to hit him with a dumbbell, police said.

Police said Kessel, 24, assaulted his 22-year-old cousin without warning. While the two were fighting, Kessel’s girlfriend — Vanessa Veloz, 22 — kicked the cousin’s groin and threatened to hit him with the dumbbell, police said.

Court documents indicate Veloz, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, was arrested along with Kessel and charged with the April 8 assault on the cousin. Veloz and Kessel were arrested on warrants following an investigation, police said.

The court documents show Kessel, who lives at 47 Lexington Ave. in the city’s Bradford section, was charged with assault and battery. Veloz was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to the documents.

In recent years, Kessel has faced a variety of criminal charges, including drug distribution and using a gun to rob a man. He has been sentenced to time in state prison.

Police once used the unusual tactic of parking an armored vehicle with surveillance cameras outside the Lexington Avenue home of Kessel’s parents after the Police Department received numerous complaints from neighbors that Kessel was having wild parties there.

In 2016, Kessel was arrested after police said an investigation showed he and co-defendant Dalvin Andino stole marijuana from a North Andover man at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Forest Acres apartment complex in Bradford. The victim initially said one of the defendants put a gun to his head and that Kessel and Andino stole $600, according to police. The robbery charge was later amended when the man making the complaint said Kessel and Andino stole marijuana, but not money.

In August of 2018, Kessel pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of larceny and Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley sentenced both him and Andino to one year in state prison for the crime.

In Kessel’s most recent brush with the law — the case involving his cousin — police said that on April 8 shortly before 2 p.m., officers were dispatched to Lexington Avenue in Bradford, where they met with the cousin. Police said the young man told them he was attacked by Kessel and his girlfriend during a visit to a Lexington Avenue home where the grandmother of Kessel and his cousin live.

According to a police report, the cousin was watching TV in the living room when Kessel, who also lives at the Lexington Avenue home with their grandmother, walked into the living room and punched the cousin in the back of the head in an unprovoked attack, stunning him and causing him to fall to the floor.

The cousin had fresh cuts and scratches on his face and neck and was bleeding when he talked with police, the report said.

The cousin told police that after punching him, Kessel placed him in a headlock and repeatedly punched him in head, but that he was able to break free and force Kessel onto the floor, the report said.

According to the report, Veloz began kicking Kessel’s cousin, allowing Kessel to get back onto his feet.

The grappling continued until Veloz kicked the cousin in the groin, causing him to fall to the floor, according to the police report. While the cousin was on the floor, Veloz picked up a five-pound dumbbell and threatened to hit him with it, the report said.

At that point, Kessel and the grandmother intervened and Kessel and Veloz left the home, according to the report. The cousin told police he believed Veloz took the dumbbell with her, the report said.

Police said they asked the grandmother if she witnessed the assault, and she described it as “just two cousins wrestling and not a big deal.”

Police said Kessel was on probation at the time of his arrest after pleading guilty last fall to a variety of charges, including drug possession, drug distribution and several counts of driving with a suspended license. He was placed on probation until April 2022. Court records show the crimes he pleaded guilty to happened in 2019 and 2020. When Kessel pleaded guilty, Haverhill District Court Judge Jean Curran ordered him to find a job and maintain employment, and also serve 50 hours of community service.

Kessel was arraigned April 20 on the assault charges involving his cousin. Kessel was released after posting $2,000 cash bail and was ordered to appear for a May 12 probation violation hearing. He was also ordered to have no contact with his cousin. If found to be in violation of his probation, Kessel could be ordered to complete the remainder of the sentence that was imposed after he pleaded guilty to the previous charges.

Kessel’s girlfriend Veloz also has pending court cases — one of them charging her with assaulting him.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, Veloz told police that in the early morning hours of Jan. 20, Kessel was drunk and wanted to smoke marijuana, but that she did not. The report said she told police that Kessel asked her to roll a marijuana blunt and the two argued. She got so frustrated that she punched Kessel in the face and then pushed him down onto the floor, according to the report.

Veloz was arraigned in Haverhill District Court for assault and battery on a household member. She was released on personal recognizance.

Veloz also has a pending case of possession to distribute a Class D drug and conspiracy to violate drug laws. She must appear June 11 on the pending cases and on the new charge of assaulting Kessel’s cousin.


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