Bridgeport police: 2 men in custody for kidnapping, burglaries in January

Vincent Deramo, 46, and Hipolito Rodriguez, 50, were arrested on unrelated charges, but police said arrest warrants for this case have been signed.

Marissa Alter

Nov 9, 2023, 12:03 AM

Updated 258 days ago


Two Bridgeport men in custody are accused of holding an employee hostage during a pair of burglaries in January, police announced Wednesday. Vincent Deramo, 46, and Hipolito Rodriguez, 50, were arrested on unrelated charges, but police said arrest warrants for this case have been signed.
Police said the incidents happened Jan. 31 and turned the Original Vazzy’s Restaurant and Catamount Food Service into crime scenes. The businesses are owned by the same family and across the street from each other.
“What they did was atrocious. It was a heinous crime,” said Johnny Vazzano, owner of Vazzy’s Restaurants.
Police said an employee of both businesses came into work at Catamount Food Services around 3:40 a.m. and was immediately confronted by the suspects who were already there.
“At that point, the two suspects kidnapped her at knifepoint with a knife and a screwdriver,” Detective Jeffrey Holtz told News 12. “The victim had the keys from Vazzy's taken from her and at that point, while they kept her captive, they broke into Vazzy's and conducted a burglary.”
Holtz said the woman was threatened and held her against her will for one hour while they ransacked the restaurant.
“She was petrified,” Vazzano stated. “They went downstairs in the office, and they took the cash registers, and they busted everything open and made a big mess. And then they, I guess to hide their tracks, they broke bottles of liquor, wine, red wine on everything.”
Vazzano said nearby security cameras caught the suspects, but they were wearing masks and had their faces totally covered.
Police told News 12 the suspects also took cash and personal items from the employee, only letting her go once they were done inside Vazzy’s.
They also said their investigation determined Deramo and Hipolito hit another business in Bridgeport earlier in the morning, White’s Diner on Boston Ave. The owner told News 12 the suspects first tried to get in through a skylight, but when that didn’t work, they busted in a window.
“They came at like one in the morning and they left at three in the morning, so they had two hours,” Sal Uguna said. “They broke my office door. They took all the, you know, a lot of money we left there that night.”
Uguna called the incident frustrating but was happy to learn police found the people who allegedly did it.
“I'm glad that they never stopped investigating,” Uguna said.
“The Bridgeport police should be commended for their hard work and their diligence, and they didn't give up,” Vazzano added. “If people know there are consequences for their bad actions, maybe they think twice about doing it. People have to be held accountable for what they do.”
Police said both men will be formally charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, two counts of third-degree burglary, fourth-degree larceny, third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree threatening for the Vazzy’s/Catamount Food Service incident. Bond in that case is set at $150,000 for each of them.
Deramo and Hipolito are also facing charges of third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, and second-degree criminal trespass for the White’s Diner incident.
According to court records, Deramo has prior convictions for criminal possession of a firearm, narcotics, interfering with an officer and reckless endangerment. In 2018, he was sentenced to five years in jail after pleading guilty to larceny and burglary charges. Court records show Hipolito has prior convictions for violating a standing criminal protective order, criminal trespass, criminal impersonation, interfering with an officer, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglar, robbery, unlawful restraint and violation of probation. He, too, was sentenced to five years for a prior burglary case.

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