At last night’s North End Public Safety Meeting, Boston Police brought in Lt. Detective Chuck Wilson to update the neighborhood on the latest sexual assault investigation and the fights that broke out last Friday at the St. Anthony’s Feast. He prefaced his discussion of recent incidents with a general perspective view. “As someone who grew up here, the North End has been and always will be the safest neighborhood in Boston,” said Wilson. “I don’t see any ‘muscle’ in the North End and many incidents involve out-of-towners. Given all the bars and restaurants, it is relatively quiet.” Roughly a dozen North End / Waterfront residents attended the public safety meeting on September 1, 2011 at the Nazzaro Center.
Out-of-Town Teens Responsible for Fights at St. Anthony’s Feast
In an organized series of attacks, out-of-town teens set up feast visitors to be punched and shoved last Friday night at the St. Anthony’s Feast. Boston Police believe the kids communicated by texting each other, identifying victims indiscriminately and then hitting them for no other reason than the thrill of assaulting random people. Observers witnessed punching, shoving and pushing in several locations on Endicott Street.
Officers identified suspects from Revere, Everett and Charlestown. Victims of the punches and fights did not pursue charges. Lt. Detective Wilson speculated that the out-of-town group was looking for other North End teens that were involved in a previous altercation during the Fisherman’s Feast weekend in the area of Steriti Rink on Commercial St.
Rumors of a stabbing at the St. Anthony’s Feast turned out to be false, according to Boston Police. However, there was a stabbing in Charlestown during the same time which confused some radio reports.
Update on August 20, 2011 Sexual Assault on Garden Court
The Lt. Detective Wilson referred to the North End’s sexual assault predator as a “creeper” — someone who preys on young woman outside their homes in the early morning hours. A sketch from the August 20th assault has been released and posted around the neighborhood.
“We have suspects,” said Lt. Detective Wilson. “In past cases, victims have not been able to make firm identifications. He (the predator) is not impulsive so this investigation may continue for a some time.”
“It’s important to distinguish between a rape and a sexual assault,” noted Sgt. Lema. The North End cases are considered assaults, not rapes. Residents in attendance raised the concern that many young woman just moved into the North End this weekend for the new semester. Patrols have been increased into the early morning hours. Police have also been working with restaurant and club owners as part of the investigation. Young woman are cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and to avoid walking alone late at night.
Gemini Club Raid on Endicott Street
Boston Police executed a raid at the Gemini Club on Endicott St. last week and arrested a man who was buying stolen goods. The raid was in response to reports that drug addicts were repeatedly going to the club to unload illicit merchandise. Lt. Detective Wilson said the man would supposedly buy a $1,000 in goods and give desperate addicts $100 or a small fraction of the value.
The Endicott St. sting is part of a series of efforts by BPD to interfere with drug and stolen goods trading. Last December, police opened a fake pawn shop, “MIB Jewelers,” in Downtown Crossing for 5 weeks. The shop took in a lot of stolen goods where police video-taped the transactions, gained warrants and made 25 arrests. Interestingly, none of the victims figured out the MIB stands for “Men in Blue.”
North End Crime Statistics During the Last 30 Days (August 2011)
Sexual Assaults – Over the last 30 days, there were 3 sexual assaults as compared to one in the same period last year. In addition to the aforementioned Garden Ct. assault, a man was arrested after exposing his buttocks to kids and mothers at Langone Park. The suspect is from a shelter in Quincy. The third sexual assault was a 68-year old man arrested for groping woman outside of Salem St. stores.
Robberies – There were 2 robberies in the last 30 days. The first was at 287 Hanover St. where a victim said someone demanded his ATM card. The second report was a man who visited Florentine on Hanover St., then Hurricane Rileys by TD Garden and then was punched while walking on Commercial St. When the victim woke up, his $1,000 necklace was missing.
Aggravated Assaults – During the weekend of the Fisherman’s Feast, a group of kids were involved in a series of fights around the Steriti Rink on Commercial Street. Police responded and identified teens from both the North End and out of town. Officers suspect this was a precursor to the fights experienced at the St. Anthony’s Feast last weekend. In a separate incident, a victim was punched outside of 280 Hanover St. when he said something to a suspect that hit a nearby car. The 20-something suspect hails from Revere.
There were two breaking and entering incidents reported in the past 30 days. One was at 6 Foster St. during the day and the other at 154 Commercial St. while the owners were vacationing.
Motor vehicle larcenies totaled six during August, up from four last year. Police noted a wave of car breaks in Charlestown with roughly 30 per month. These incidents are largely attributed to drug users needing money, according to police. Motorists are reminded not to leave any valuables in their car.
Loud Party calls totaled 18 over the entire summer, of which police identify 9 as serious parties. Boston Police completed this year’s orientation with 1,300 Suffolk University students, emphasizing quality of life issues.
In the past month, police towed 13 vehicles in the North End, gave out 124 moving violations and 238 parking tickets.
The “Please Be Courteous to Our Neighbors!” campaign is in full swing. Officers are targeting people hanging out on the streets, such as those with “red plastic cups.”
A Jackson Ave. resident reported an increasingly sketchy homeless situation on Copp’s Hill Terrace. Police will add the area to car patrols.
The next North End Public Safety Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 6, 2011, 6:30 pm at the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 N. Bennet St. All residents and business owners are welcome to attend. View the Community Calendar for more meetings and events.