Stabbing victim says attackers hid in bathroom

BELMONT — The two men who are accused of attacking three people in an apartment stairway at 252 Daniel Webster Highway (Rte. 3) early Monday morning allegedly ambushed them by waiting in a bathroom at the top of the stairs, said police affidavits obtained yesterday from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

John J. Drouin, 27, Messer Laconia and Robert Rama, 22, of Canton St. in Concord are being held in lieu of $100,000 cash-only and $75,000 cash-only bail, respectively, in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

The attack took place around 1 a.m. in building that houses the Lakes Region Dock Company on the ground floor.

Drouin is charged with two felony counts of first-degree assault and one misdemeanor count of simple assault. Rama is charged with one felony count of criminal conduct of another and one misdemeanor count of simple assault.

Rama was also arraigned on three outstanding, unrelated charges stemming from a traffic accident in Laconia in January of 2013.

Victim Corey Cromwell was taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon with what affidavits described as eight to nine stab wounds. The second victim, John Hynes was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia with at least one stab wound. The third victim, a female, declined treatment for a hand wound.

The female victim said she was climbing the stairs to Cormwell's apartment with Cromwell and Hynes when two males — who she identified as Drouin and Rama — emerged from a bathroom and attacked them.

She told police that she saw Drouin stab Cromwell "more than once." She aid she and Hynes were injured trying to break up the fight, during which Rama allegedly grabbed her by the neck.

Hynes told police that he wasn't really sure what happened while they were climbing the stairs, but said earlier in the evening he and the other two victims had gone to Concord and driven around for a while before coming back to Belmont just after 1 a.m.

He said he had no idea he had been stabbed until he was standing outside the apartment waiting for help.

According to Belmont Police, the call came into them at 1:04 a.m. and the three victims were outside the apartment waiting for a police cruiser when it arrived. The first officer on the scene said Cromwell told him he had been stabbed and was having trouble breathing. The officer said he could see a lot of blood coming from his neck.

N.H. State Police assisted Belmont Police and said that while they were unable to speak with Cromwell because of the seriousness of his injuries, they noticed he had defensive wounds on his arms that left deep lacerations.

The female victim said after the attack the three ran to a silver car that was in the driveway for safety. Belmont police have recovered the car.

She told police that Rama ran west toward Union Road and Drouin ran west through a car dealership next door and got into a white 2009 C-class Mercedes that left the scene before police arrived.

Police were also told the entrance to the apartment and the building is covered by a surveillance camera and the feed went to a base system located in Cromwell's kitchen.

Affidavits said that the other tenant of the building told them that he lived in one apartment and Cromwell lived in the other. The two shared the bathroom.

The female victim went with police to the Belmont Police station and was able to definitively pick Drouin out of a photo array.

Drouin and Rama were arrested yesterday in an apartment on Union Avenue in Laconia by Belmont Police working with the U.S. Marshal Joint Fugitive Task Force.