Boston Police have released more information on Saturday’s knife assault on a 39 year-old woman in the area of the Nazzaro Center on N. Bennet Street. (See the community alert posted below.) Officers have statements from a witness and the victim. The attacker is described as a short, Hispanic -looking male (5’5″, possibly Black Hispanic) who approached the victim in conversation, pulled her towards him, showed a knife and tried to kiss her. After a brief struggle, the suspect fled towards Hanover Street. The victim says the assault took place in the court yard of the Nazzaro Community Center. The Sexual Assault Unit is investigating the case and anyone with information should call (617) 343-4400.
This is the seventh unsolved assault against women in the North End in the last 3 years, with the most similar occuring in April 2009 when a woman fought off a similarly described attacker. There was also an incident in August 2009 (Police Release Sketch of North End Flasher) and mid-December with an attempted armed robbery on Commercial Street (Attempted Armed Robbery in North End). Late December also brought a robbery at knife-point at the Hanover St. 7-Eleven store (Hanover St. 7-Eleven Robbed at Knife Point). The police believe it is too early in the investigation to connect Saturday’s incident to the previous attacks.
REMINDER: This month’s Public Safety meeting is scheduled on Thursday, January 7th at 6:30pm at the Nazzaro Center, sponsored by NEWNC and the Boston Police who will be in attendance. This meeting is open to the public and interested residents should attend.
The official report issued by Boston Police:
BOSTON POLICE INVESTIGATE REPORT OF INDECENT ASSAULT & BATTERY IN THE NORTH END
At about 10:30pm, on Saturday, January 2, 2010, officers from Area A-1 (Downtown) responded to a radio call for an assault & battery in the area of N. Bennet Street. On arrival, officers spoke to a witness who stated that the victim approached her and stated that she had been assaulted. Officers spoke to the victim who stated that she was walking home when a short, Hispanic-looking male approached her and began talking to her. The victim says the suspect suddenly pulled her towards him, showed a knife and attempted to kiss her. After a brief struggle, the victim says the suspect fled on foot towards Hanover Street. The victim says the assault took place in the court yard of the Nazzaro Community Center.
The victim describes the suspect as being short about 5’5″ and Hispanic (possibly Black Hispanic).
The Boston Police Department is actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Sexual Assault Unit at (617) 343-4400.
Community members who wish to assist this investigation in an anonymous manner can call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department is interested only in your information, not your identity.
Video report from MyFoxBoston.com (click image to play):
TIPS FOR ENSURING PERSONAL SAFETY
• Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
• When parking, walking or returning to your car, travel in well-lit and populated areas.
• Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.
• Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles. Don’t become distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod/similar device.
• Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know.
• Keep a whistle within reach. If threatened, use the whistle to signal residents for help. Yelling “Fire!” “Help!” or “Rape!” are ways of drawing attention and alerting people of your situation.
• Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker.
• Carry a cell phone and call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on the way. Make sure you’re expected at a certain time, so in the event you fail to show up, those expecting you will know enough to begin looking for you.
• Walk with confidence. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Anyone at anytime can be a victim of crime so never assume, “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
• If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to defend, distract, or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape.
• If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk towards an open store, restaurant or residence.