The Boston Police have put a show of force on the streets of East Boston following a recent rash of disturbing crimes—two of which took place last Wednesday night.
The first incident took place at 8:30 p.m. last Wednesday night in busy Maverick Square. In front of dozens of witnesses in the recently renovated square that includes multiple well-lit restaurants and shops a man was brutally stabbed. Responding officers said that the man was suffering from a life threatening injury to the stomach and was raced to Mass General where he remains in critical condition.
The second, more disturbing crime that has many uneasy in the neighborhood occurred a few hours after the stabbing in Maverick. At about 11 p.m. on Wednesday officers responded to a report of a woman screaming in the area of Coleridge Street.
On arrival, officers spoke with two female victims who said an armed suspect broke into their home. The victims told police the suspect held them at gunpoint, demanded money, attempted to rape them and then viciously beat one of them with his handgun. One of victims managed to escape and ran for help. The suspect fled the area in an unknown direction.
The suspect is described as a white Non-Hispanic male, approximately 6’ tall, medium build, 180 lbs, appeared to be in his late 20’s to mid-30’s, clean shaven and was wearing a black knit hat, a short sleeve grey t-shirt and dark shorts.
The two violent crimes come on the heels of an August 27 sexual assault and September 2 shooting.
On August 27 police were called to the McKay School on Cottage Street in East Boston. On arrival, officers discovered a woman in her forties suffering from facial trauma. Boston EMS responded and transported the victim to a local hospital for additional medical treatment.
The victim told police two men forced her into a vehicle and sexually assaulted her. She described her attackers as Hispanic males. The first suspect is described as a male, approximately 30 to 40 years of age, with a heavy build and a mustache. The second suspect is described as a male in his twenties with a thin build.
The assault is still under investigation by the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit.
The shooting occurred on September 2 at 9 p.m. when officers responded to a call about a person shot at the intersection of Marion and Saratoga streets. The 18-year-old victim said he thought he had been shot but was unsure. Officers observed a bloodstain on his shirt and called for EMS. The victim was taken to Mass General where he was treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries.
While the victim would not identify his attacker, police believe the two had a prior past and a prior dispute that could have involved drugs.
In a neighborhood that is statistically one of the safest in the city with a violent crime rate comparable to West Roxbury, Boston Police Commissioner ed Davis is taking the recent up tick in crime very seriously.
“It is unusual to see crimes like these happening so close together in East Boston—a place that is relatively crime free,” said Davis. “The latest crime is perhaps the most disturbing so we have an enormous amount of resources invested in investigating that sexual assault.”
Davis said there have been added police patrols in the Orient Heights neighborhood were the sexual assault occurred and are actively seeking suspects in the crime.
“This is a very troubling case so there will be close surveillance in the area where the crime occurred,” said Davis.
The stabbing in Maverick Square has elicited a response from the Boston Police’s elite gang task force.
“We are putting more patrols in targeted areas of the neighborhood were this activity has historically occurred during the midnight to morning shift,” said Davis.
Davis said that the gang task force’s intelligence has shown that while the stabbing and shooting may be ‘gang related’ the gangs that typically square off on the streets of Eastie are less of an organized syndicate. According to Davis the groups tend to be teens from the same neighborhood that have rivalries with teens from other parts of Eastie.
The trend of violent crime began less than a year ago when Felipe Ospina was found in the area of 100 Meridian Street suffering from an apparent stab wound at 5:40 p.m. on Christmas Eve. He was rushed by ambulance to Mass General where he was later pronounced dead two days short of his 21st birthday.
A few months later on May 4 Boston Police responded to 220 Chelsea St. after getting a call for a man in cardiac arrest but stumbled upon something more sinister. There they found 50-year-old John Barrientos dead in his alleyway brutally beaten and stabbed. Police arrested a Revere man the next day.
Then on June 19 Elexson Hercules, 19, was stabbed five times in the chest before collapsing on the sidewalk at the corner of Bennington and Marion Streets. Hercules was walking with his friend Brianale Sanseverino and three others when they were approached by a group of four men. Hercules stayed behind to talk with the men as his friends walked away. That’s when Sanseverino heard Hercules pleading. Moments later, the four men had fled and Hercules lay on the sidewalk bleeding to death. Hercules was removed from the scene and transported to the Massachusetts General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.