MALDEN (CBS) — A Melrose man accused of brutally beating his mother and sister was arraigned Wednesday in Malden District Court.
John Ferreira, 54, was captured Tuesday afternoon by police in Westboro after a four-day search, during which he was considered armed and dangerous.
He was ordered held without bail.
Police said he confessed to the attacks and said he was suffering a mental breakdown.
Ferreira is charged with mayhem, two counts of kidnapping with serious bodily injury, attempted murder, motor vehicle larceny, home invasion, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and armed assault to rob.
John Morabito, Ferreira’s nephew, told reporters outside of court that both Ferreira’s mother and sister were now out of the hospital.
Ferreira’s sister was present in court Wednesday, still bruised and using a walker.
She asked the judge for a restraining order against her brother and was helped back to her seat by her son.
“I hope he rots in jail,” she told WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud of her brother.
When asked how her mother is doing, she responded, “I think she feels embarrassed. Hurt. Do you ever really think your kid would do something like this?”
Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle said Ferreira waited for his sister to come home to her Vinton Street house on Friday night, then attacked her and tied her up.
He allegedly broke through a wall using a saw to get to his sister, then hit her with a rubber mallet, knocking out her front teeth. He’s also alleged to have sprayed bug spray in the victims’ eyes and to have attempted to strangle them using duct tape.
Morabito said his 82-year-old grandmother’s actions saved the day.
“It was actually my grandmother who was able to get out of the house, to make it down to her apartment, and to phone police,” said Morabito. “So it’s really thanks to my grandmother that my mother and her are alive today.”
Investigators say he may have attacked the women due to their recent efforts to evict him from the home.
Police said he sped away in a red Toyota Corolla that belonged to one of the victims.
They said he was arrested without incident around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday when a keen-eyed police officer recognized the vehicle.
Ferreira also has six motor vehicle default warrants out of Peabody District Court.
He’s due back in court next Wednesday for a dangerousness hearing.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports