Windham police have arrested two men on felony charges for allegedly beating and robbing another man this month over a $200 bet made on a basketball video game.

Corey W. Shepard, 28, of Windham and Ryan C. Dion, 29, of South Portland both face charges of robbery and aggravated assault for allegedly beating 24-year-old Joseph Sacco with a souvenir baseball bat on March 16 and stealing his iPhone, a handgun and $480 in cash.

Ryan Dion’s mother, Kimberly Dion, 49, of Portland, said she believes her son was not involved in the alleged assault and that Shepard confronted Sacco because Sacco was highly intoxicated and refused to leave Shepard’s home.

In an interview, Shepard declined to speak about what happened that night except to deny the charges, and said that video evidence will come out in court showing what really happened.

“The charges against me are false,” Shepard said. “It’s fabricated.”

Robbery is a Class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Aggravated assault is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

On Monday, Dion was ordered by District Court Judge Deborah Cashman to remain jailed in lieu of $5,000 cash bail during a brief  appearance in Cumberland County Unified Court. He was still being held there Wednesday. Shepard posted $5,000 bail and was released. His first court appearance has not been set, according to the clerk’s office.

Police got involved when an officer on patrol found Sacco stumbling around in the road near 1037 Roosevelt Trail shortly before midnight March 16. He was disoriented and bleeding, according to police reports filed in court. An officer approached Sacco and found he smelled of alcohol and had two open wounds on his head. Officers initially asked if he had been in a car crash, but Sacco told them he had been assaulted nearby, knocked unconscious and when he awoke, he walked toward the oncoming headlights along the busy road to seek help.

Sacco told officers he spent the evening with two other men at a house a short distance away at 1039 Roosevelt Trail, which shares a parking lot with Wheels and Deals, a used car dealership.

Sacco told police he was friends with Shepard, who lives at the Roosevelt Trail home, but he had just met Dion. Sacco said the three spent the day together helping one of their relatives move furniture before they went back to Shepard’s house to eat, drink alcohol and play video games, according to the police reports.

At some point in the afternoon, Shepard drove Sacco to a gas station in Raymond where Sacco withdrew $500 from an ATM. He told police he used some of the money for  beer, cigarettes and gas, and planned to use some of the remaining cash to bet on the basketball video game.

Later that night, Sacco said, he and Dion bet $200 on the video game.

“Joe (Sacco) stated that he won the game and asked for his money from Ryan (Dion),” according to a report filed by Windham Police Officer Alex Brokos. “Joe (Sacco) said that Corey (Shepard) and Ryan (Dion) wanted to go outside to have a cigarette first.”

Sacco said he was sitting on the stoop, with Shepard and Dion behind him, when they began punching and kicking him. Sacco said one of the men – he did not say who – also beat him with a small souvenir Sea Dogs baseball bat.

Sacco said he ended up on his back in the driveway, and saw Shepard pull out a handgun. Sacco, who was also armed, said he reached for his own gun, but could not get it out of its holster because he was lying on the ground. Sacco said when Shepard and Ryan realized that Sacco was also reaching for a gun,  they got on top of him and hit him some more and stole the Taurus 9mm handgun, his iPhoneX and $480 in cash before he was knocked unconscious.

Outside the home, police found a trigger assembly on the pavement near a blood stain, according to the police reports. There was no indication that anyone fired a shot during the fight.

When police interviewed Shepard, he denied that there was any confrontation or wager placed on the game. When asked about the cell phone, he told officers that Sacco had left it in his living room and gave it back to police. Shepard said Sacco left the apartment abruptly more than an hour before police arrived after losing the video game.

Shepard also said he had a gun in the home, but it was broken.

“I asked him if it was missing the trigger,” wrote Detective Paul Cox. “He stated ‘yes.’ ”

Shepard showed a portion of the broken firearm to Cox and that piece of the gun also appeared to have blood on it, Cox said. Shepard at first said the blood came from a cut on his hand, but when Cox told him police would have the blood tested, he said “it might be (Sacco’s) blood.”

Police then obtained a search warrant for the house, and found a black 9mm Taurus semiautomatic handgun hidden in a dryer vent in the basement. That gun had blood on it, as well.

In court Monday at Dion’s first appearance, his mother, Kimberly Dion, said her son was not involved in whatever took place between Sacco and Shepard, and that there is surveillance video footage from the nearby business and an alibi witness who will prove that Dion was not party to the assault.

Kimberly Dion said Sacco was highly intoxicated and would not leave when he was asked to do so.

“They were trying to get him to leave, and he pulled a gun on (Shepard),” Kimberly Dion said. “I believe the homeowner, Corey, was only trying to protect his family and to get the drunk man off his property.”

When asked about the alibi witness and the video surveillance footage, Windham police Captain William Andrew said the investigation is ongoing.


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