Police & Fire

Zombie Drug User Creates Scene at Nazzaro Center

It was a surreal scene at the Nazzaro Center on Thursday night when a drugged out young man, accompanied by his somewhat less impaired girlfriend, was shooting up in Polcari Playground before passing out inside the youth center. A large group of residents showed up at 6:30 pm for the monthly North End Public Safety meeting to see the Oakdale resident literally bouncing off the walls and having trouble walking before passing out in front of the entrance desk.

Personnel at the youth center said the Boston Police were called more than an hour beforehand, but no one had responded to the situation. Ironically, BPD Sergeant Thomas Lema arrived for the public safety meeting to witness the scene. He took control of the situation and solicited a wagon/ambulance to get the man to the hospital. The Sergeant noted that both the young man and his girlfriend would be subject to charges.

An unfortunate part of the story occurred when young children found the recently used needles near a bench outside the Nazzaro Center. Parents and residents at the Public Safety meeting were obviously shocked and saddened by the incident. One resident said the couple had been previously seen in the neighborhood, around Copp’s Hill Terrace. Many wondered why the out-of-towners were in the North End to buy/use drugs.

Scenes from the incident are shown below. Photos by Matt Conti.

Passed out on floor of Nazzaro Center
Drug user having problems with stairs at Nazzaro Center


Getting assistance from BPD Sgt. Tom Lema


Sgt. Lema called for a medical response.

16 Replies to “Zombie Drug User Creates Scene at Nazzaro Center

  1. In this day and age, handling an infected sharp can kill you. Let me get this straight: kids on a playground find used needles right outside the neighborhood safety meeting where they’d been waiting for 911 officers for more than an hour?!?! And the only way a response bt BPD was actually the Sargent’s intervention?

    BPD has some ‘splainin to do. So much for “call 911” as they keep telling us to do. If they don’t think exposing children to deadly drug needles and dangerous individuals on PLAYGROUNDS merits an immediate response… What the hell?

    What about the murder on the greenway last weekend? Outside this blog, I haven’t been able to find any coverage for it.

    1. On New Year’s Eve two years ago, a random attacker slapped a girl in the face and bit her boyfriend’s ear through skin. There were cops on the corner, and the perp was apprehended. However, when I went to instruct the cop to make sure the kid got PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), the cop yelled at me to leave the scene. I ignored him. I got his girlfriend’s cell phone number and she texted me from Tufts, “Yep. He got the PEP.” It amazed me that there was no knowledge of this HIV preventive measure by the cop at the scene. What’s worse, any kid who “found” those needles should have been questioned about any needle “pricks” and given PEP is needle pricks happened. The BPD surprise me in amazing ways every day, but on other days, it is like, “Say whaaa???”

  2. A high as a kite guy walks into the nazzaro center, the epicenter of the community, and falls down in front of the desk.. .. how long is the city and police going to tell us there is no drug problem in the north end?

  3. “Many wondered why the out-of-towners were in the North End to buy/use drugs.”

    This is a joke, right? Go to Hanover’s busiest block and you can see deals happening in broad day light.

    Chances are if you see someone constantly on their phone walking the street every single day…he’s not ordering food.

  4. I think there is some component of the North End being a safe place to live going one here. When something as this happens it gets a lot of publicity. Not saying that this is by any means acceptable in any community, however on a per capita basis crime in the north end is probably lower than other parts of the city.

  5. I called the BPD one Saturday night several months ago around 1am after someone tried to break into my 1st floor apartment and ran off after they realized I was home. I called 3 times over 2 hours to get someone to come and witness the scene and file a report, yet they never even came. Each time I called they told me I was a low priority report and they would get there when they got there (never). Nice work boys.

    This story is all too familiar on how the BPD uses kid gloves when handling real issues in the North End.

    1. I think the lock is used on the gate to the playground. Is removing the lock seriously your major concern with this incident Mr sandwich shop bakery-bar ?

  6. This “Zombie Drug User” is a human being, and some Mother’s child. It’s great eye-pop to see these photos, but I hope at least one other person feels bad for him and wants him to get better.

  7. It is a good thing this person did not die there. It was a cry for help from a person suffering from the disease of addiction. With this happening so much someone should be trained in the use of narcan in the event of an overdose they can be saved.

  8. The “Zombie Drug user,” his “somewhat less impaired girlfriend” and those who used Columbus Park playground as a no-tell motel are all some mothers’ children and deserve society’s consideration. But when their illegal and life-threatening actions violate and jeopardize the health and well-being of children, citizens have a right and responsibility to demand that the children, and therefore our neighborhoods, be protected!

  9. Did anyone mention that it took the cops over an hour to show up ? The cop that was pictured was there for the safety meeting otherwise there wouldn’t have been any around !!! When asked the cop responed they are on a sift change ! A sift change ??? So the best time to rob someone would be during a BPD sift change ! Between 3-4 pm ! What a lame excuse !!!!!

  10. Unfortunately this doesn’t surprise me too much. I used to play basketball here with co-workers during the week. People (most of whom are neighborhood residents) routinely sit on the benches and smoke pot in broad daylight. Certainly not as extreme as this incident, but an example of very routine and very public drug use in this exact location.

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