A-1 Police Captain O’Rourke and NEWNC’s Mario Alfano
A-1 Police Captain O’Rourke and NEWNC’s Mario Alfano

Assaults, break-ins and loud noise were discussed at the September 2nd North End Public Safety meeting where Captain Bernard O’Rourke reviewed recent crime statistics and answered resident questions. Mario Alfano, represented the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council, that organizes the meeting. State Representative Aaron Michlewitz was also in attendance.

  • July and August 2010 saw significant increases in North End crime incidents. For the two months, there were 81 crime reports, up 44% from 56 last year. Year-to-date through August, the number of reported crime incidents is up 16% to 230.
  • Summer 2010 increases were most notably seen in burglaries (residential break-ins). There were no homicides, but 5 assaults, including one sexual assault. The sexual assault was a domestic/date rape incident between 2 known people that were out together at the Sanctuary bar on State Street and came home to a North End apartment.
  • A robbery took place near Salem & Tileston Streets on August 28th. A female suspect approached another female demanding her purse. The victim complied and the suspect fled toward a group of males on Tileston St. The victim was a 25 year-old woman who lost some credit cards.
  • Police made 2 arrests for breaking & entering in the last month:
    • The first was at Commercial Wharf where a homeless, intoxicated 48 year-old male from was caught in the act by a visiting State Trooper. The suspect was trying all the doors until he found an open one and entered the unit.
    • More concerning to police was a 54 year-old black homeless man, usually seen around Downtown Crossing, with a sexual offense record. On August 13th, the suspect pushed in a screen door on Charter Street. He was arrested for attempted burglary and two counts of disorderly conduct.
  • Operation Criss-CrossThe North End was hit hard in July with breaking & entering crimes. Police have a few leads, including a father/son team and some inside jobs where keys were accessed through a management company. The B&E’s have been a citywide problem over the summer, so the police have started “Operation Criss-Cross” with overtime patrols in Beacon Hill, Charlestown and the North End. Patrols approach suspicious people and ask them questions to dissuade criminal activity. There have been no residential break-ins since August 9th.
  • Assaults on Women – The suspect from the attempted choking incident a few weeks ago remains at large (see the sketches). Police have brought in female officers to pose as potential victims on certain nights. With the sketch flyers and news reports, police believe the suspect is currently inactive.
  • A double stabbing on Blackstone Street resulted in the arrest of an Everett man on September 1st. The arrest was made on Parmenter St. in the North End. Read the report.
  • The last weekend in August was particularly challenging for District A-1 police with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at TDGarden and the St. Anthony’s Feast. Police noted the UFC crowd was overserved with alcohol since the event very long, starting at 6:20pm with the last fight lasting at 12:15 am. If the UFC returns to Boston (apparently the “sold out” status was a bit hyped), the police will ask for a shorter show.
  • At the St. Anthony’s Feast, the police only noted one incident at the Gassy park where a group from Stoneham engaged a group of locals in a “heated” argument. Police interceded before the groups got too far out of hand.
  • Captain O’Rourke noted the charitable participation of officers in the neighborhood, including the Junior Police Academy, National Night Out and during NEAD Family Week.

The meeting attracted about 20 residents, with the following issues and questions.

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Nancy Caruso asked about recent break-ins on Stillman Place, one of which she reported in early August. Police responded to a break-in through a basement window, followed the next day at a neighboring building by a break-in through a broken door. Captain O’Rourke did not have the records for those incidents at the meeting, but will follow up with Caruso from his office.

A female resident asked about whether the police will be offering self-defense classes again. The Captain said he would ask Sergeant Lema to initiate a 4-week course in the coming weeks.

Several residents told stories about recent moving activities and trash code violations. The Police ask residents to refer those to Code Enforcement or contact the Mayor’s Hotline.

Nancy Vangi reported that someone is putting nails and glue in the locks of building entrances between 30-38 Prince Street. She also reported that keypads were being disabled by vandals.

Late Night Noise
An impassioned resident, Marie, voiced an extended complaint about the loud noise at night.
“This is a neighborhood, not a campus. The noise is completely out of control.” Anne Pistorio thought there were too many liquor licenses between Faneuil Hall, the North End and West End so that young adults are on the street at all hours of the night. The Captain noted that Boston Police have consistently voiced opposition to more late-night liquor licenses. Marie continued that the politicians are not doing enough.

State Representative Aaron Michlewitz at the meeting.State Representative Aaron Michlewitz responded that he is part of a Problem Properties Committee, led by City Councilors Ross & LaMattina. He said, “Give me the addresses and I will take it to Problem Properties.” His office number is 617-722-2488 or email at rep.aaronmichlewitz@hou.state.ma.us.

Lastly, with crime incidents on the rise, police encourage residents and business owners to call 911 quickly when they see suspicious activity in the neighborhood. The Captain also gave out the Loud Party Hotline (617-343-5500) which residents can use to receive police response.