Daniel Brand, 34, of Leominster mouths something to someone in the court as he entered the courtroom in Leominser during his arraignment Monday morning.
Daniel Brand, 34, of Leominster mouths something to someone in the court as he entered the courtroom in Leominser during his arraignment Monday morning. His lawyer, Ellen O'Connor is at left. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE

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LEOMINSTER -- A Whitney Street resident who police said tried to intimidate a witness days after hitting a 16-year-old bicyclist was arraigned Monday in Leominster District Court and ordered held on $15,000 cash bail.

Daniel Brand, 34, of 167 Whitney St., Unit 1, allegedly struck Joshua Carrillo at the intersection of North Main and Moore streets, then drove off May 5 at about 9 p.m.

Carrillo suffered a broken right knee and left leg, and spent two days in UMass Memorial Medical Center before returning home to recover.

Police said the bike lodged under Brand's vehicle, and he drove about a half-mile before stopping to throw it over a fence into the Nashua River.

Brand learned a witness claimed she saw him throw away the bicycle, and he went to her home Friday to warn her not to talk to police, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Nugent said.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Brand made it to that witness before the police did and tried to sway the witness," Nugent said.

Brand is charged with leaving the scene of an accident in which somebody was hurt, witness intimidation, driving with a suspended license and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

Nugent requested a $50,000 cash bail, and Brand's court-appointed attorney, Ellen O'Connor, requested a $5,000 cash bail.

Brand is disabled because he was the victim of a car accident 14 years ago in which his back was broken, O'Connor said. He is a stay-at-home father of three children and does not have the ability to pay a higher bail, she said.

Judge Mark Noonan set the $15,000 cash bail or $150,000 surety. If Brand makes bail, he is not allowed to drive, cannot contact Carrillo and must wear a GPS-monitoring device.

Brand denies his involvement, O'Connor said after the arraignment. She characterized Brand as scare and upset because he is not sure why he has been charged.

"I have spoken to him and his wife," O'Connor said. "They both maintain he is not the perpetrator. I will be hiring an investigator to get to the bottom of it."

Outside the courtroom, Brand's wife, Cheryl, called the charges unfair before declining further comment.

Brand agreed to go to Police Department headquarters for questioning Friday before he was placed under arrest.

Police said last week the witness was about 5 feet away when she allegedly saw Brand throw the bike over the fence. The witness was terrified by Brand, Nugent said.

Police identified Brand as a suspect a day after the accident. Investigators got an unrelated tip that Brand had asked for help after allegedly blowing out his tires on a curb along North Main Street near Tedeschi Food Shop and Sullivan Tire and Auto Service. The tipster saw reports of the accident on television and contacted police.

Brand's next scheduled court date is June 11.

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