20 year old Derek Sotelo was arrested by the Danbury Police on Thursday (08/17/23).

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Police say Sotelo was trespassing on the grounds of the Ellsworth Avenue School in Danbury, Thursday while in possession of a machete. City Hall issued a press release on Friday that read:

"A witness stated that a male and female were seen in the alleyway of the school attempting to jump a fence leading to the playground. Before climbing the fence, the witness stated that the male removed a machete from his pants and handed it to the female."

The School Safety Advocate reportedly confronted the duo, they left the area and police caught up with Sotelo later that day and took him into custody. Sotelo is facing the following charges:

  • Carrying a Dangerous Weapon
  • 2nd Degree Tresspass
  • 2nd Degree Breach of Peace

Sotelo is being held on $10,000 bond.

His name seemed familiar so I looked into and learned that this same Derek Sotelo was arrested in 2021 in connection with a shooting at the Danbury Fair Mall.On August 11, 2021 a 15 year old girl was shot in the chest at the Danbury Fair Mall. According to FOX 61, police arrested one suspect, a 14 year old whose name was not released due to their age.

Later that month, they arrested Derek Sotelo who was 18 at the time. Authorities charged Sotelo with criminal attempt to commit assault in the 2nd degree, reckless endangerment, inciting to riot, inciting injury to a person, risk of injury to a minor and breach of peace.

According to a 2022 News Times report, Sotelo ultimately plead guilty to the charge of attempt to commit 2nd degree assault. He was sentenced to five years in jail, execution suspended and 5 years probation with "special conditions."

I found this confusing, if he got 5 years in prison why is he out and accused of trespassing at a school while wielding a machete? The key term is "execution suspended", according to the Connecticut General Assembly:

"The court may also impose a period of probation supervision following a prison term -- called a "split" sentence. Typically, the court will suspend (called "execution suspended") a portion or all of the prison term of a "split" sentence. For example, the court will impose a five year prison term with execution suspended after two years, followed by three years probation."

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