LAWRENCE (CBS) – The man charged with killing a Lawrence Department of Public Works employee on the job last month is being held without bail.

Ariel Toribio, 20, of Lawrence, was arrested and charged with murder Friday in the death of 52-year-old Tony Ruiz of Methuen. Toribio pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Lawrence District Court Monday morning.

Ruiz was shot and killed January 15 as he filled potholes for the city at the intersection of Andover and Clifton streets. Investigators said he was not the intended target.

Ruiz was the father of two children. DPW workers lined the streets for his funeral late last month.

Tony Ruiz (Photo Courtesy: Cataudella Funeral Home)

“He was a good guy,” Ruiz’s sister Millie Torres told reporters as she left court Monday.

“Twenty years I knew Tony. Hopefully, this is the start of the process to end this and put this guy where he belongs, (so) it doesn’t happen to anybody else,” said Lawrence DPW employee Greg Morris.

He came to court for the arraignment and hopes Toribio “never sees the light of day again.”

“Again I’ve known Tony for twenty years. His kids grew up with my kids so I thought it was the right thing to do,” Morris said. He now drives Ruiz’s sweeper.

Ariel Toribio in Lawrence District Court, Feb. 24, 2020. (WBZ-TV)

Toribio is due back in court March 27.


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