Alleged fight over drug money leads to arrest of couple at N.S. motel


NORTH SMITHFIELD – A man and a woman are both facing charges of domestic assault following an incident July 1 at Hilltop Motor Lodge that allegedly began when one says they ran out of money to buy heroin.

Joseph Moreau, 31, of Providence and Sarina Pinto, 32, of North Attleboro, Mass, were arrested in the incident.

According to reports, officers arrived on scene at the motel to find Moreau restraining Pinto, and told him to get off of her and lay flat on the ground.

Pinto told police she had been in a relationship with Moreau for four months and that he became upset when he ran out of money because he was trying to buy heroin, and then physically attacked her, striking her multiple times.

Moreau had a different story, telling police that an argument with Pinto escalated, and she began trashing their hotel room, throwing clothes, then attempting to break his driver’s-side mirror when he tried to leave. He said Pinto tried to strike him multiple times, but he pushed her away, finally restraining her until police arrived.

Officers reportedly observed the mirror, still hanging on by wires. Moreau’s vehicle was running and clothes were strewn about the room, according to reports. Both parties had minor injuries.

Pinto was charged with domestic assault, vandalism and disorderly conduct. Moreau was charged with domestic violence and assault.

Both listed their occupations as unemployed.

Pinto’s previous record in the state criminal database shows charges of possession of a controlled substance in 2015.

Moreau’s previous record includes several charges of possession with intent to distribute, three incidents of domestic assault, three charges of resisting arrest, multiple charges of possession, domestic kidnapping, disorderly conduct, driving with a suspended license, obstructing an officer and driving under the influence.

Pinto was released on $1,000 personal recognizance under conditions that she attend pretrial services to monitor substance abuse and mental health, and follow a no contact order.

Moreau was released on a $1,000 surety with a no contact order.

Both have pretrial conferences scheduled for September 10.

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