DA: Blue Line rider attacked into unconsciousness by man enraged at demand he put out his cigarette

A Medford man and his Winthrop girlfriend were arraigned today on charges of armed assault with intent to murder for a March 24 incident on the Blue Line that left a rider unconscious and with serious injuries that might have been even worse if the man had managed to get access to his knife, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

According to prosecutors, Paul Mucci, 48, became enraged that morning when another rider on an outbound Blue Line train told him to extinguish the cigarette he'd lit just past Revere Beach. Mucci allegedly head-butted the man, then kicked and punched him repeatedly as he tried to get the knife he had clipped to the back of his belt:

"I'm going to kill you," Mucci allegedly shouted.

[Girlfriend Paula] Howard allegedly yelled to Mucci, "Undo the buckle" in an effort to assist him in retrieving the weapon. Witnesses said she was "coaching" Mucci to stab the victim.

A female passenger saw the knife, jumped on Mucci's back, and disarmed him. That woman later gave the knife to an MBTA inspector after the duo fled the train at Wonderland Station.

The victim of the assault lost consciousness and suffered serious injuries to his face and left hand. He was transported by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Chelsea District Court Judge Benjamin Barnes set bail at $3,000 for Mucci and $150 for Howard, and ordered them to stay away from the victim. Prosecutors had asked for bail of $25,000 for Mucci, who has a ten-page rap sheet with convictions for, among other things, assault and battery.

Innocent, etc.

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Sad to say...

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but this is exactly why you don't accost strangers about such stuff unless absolutely necessary.

Sometimes, you gotta judge a book by its cover and say, "I'm gonna sit this one out".

n/m

I was going to say that was almost exactly a year ago. I had a long day

Are you kidding?

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How did the judge justify the low bail? Both individuals are clearly loose cannons from which the pubic should be protected...

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You better watch out or the

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You better watch out or the conservative thought police will be after you for questioning judges. Judges are not to be questioned, they are above reproach.

Because that's not how it works

The purpose of bail is to ensure a defendant's appearance at trial, not to punish him before he is found guilty or to protect the public from him. If the defendant isn't a flight risk, there's no reason for high bail.

Massachusetts does allow for pre-trial detention if the DA requests a dangerousness hearing and can show that the defendant is most likely a danger to the community. Maybe the DA didn't request a dangerousness hearing in this case.

But What Makes Him A Flight Risk?

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http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/Part...

"In his determination under this section as to whether release will reasonably assure the appearance of the person before the court, said justice ... shall ... take into account the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the potential penalty the person faces, ... his record of convictions..."

Nature and circumstances are an unprovoked attack that put the victim in the hospital. The potential penalty is 10 years (http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/Part...). His record of convictions says he's done this before. That's an incentive not to appear for trial.

How about this for a flight risk

The guy is listed here as living in Medford, but the incident report a year ago says Winthrop and his Facebook page says Everett.

Although he doesn't seem to get very far, that's three different cities in the last year.

Not a hard target to track, I suspect

If you read through his Facebook posts, it seems clear that he's living in Winthrop right now. I don't think anyone will have a hard time tracking him down, given that he keeps posting his phone number, day-to-day activities, and even his exact latitude/longitude on Facebook. And over on Google Plus you can find out which bars and gyms he hangs out at :-)

He seems to be a talented tattoo artist who's struggling with some serious anger management and substance abuse issues. Not that I feel sorry for him... I feel sorry for the guy he almost killed.

_

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From his page:

Was on the train an beat up some asshole not minding his business. Won but he caught my eye.fuuuuck ,why can't shit bags mind there business.
he swung an I finished. Everyone calling the cops.fucking bullshit. Should have kept the hurting going. Don't need or want jail.
People should mind there business an man up when they run there mouth an make moves.anyhow people agree but will tell too.
All happy.then a let down ...again

"Should have kept the hurting going. Don't need or want jail." Is he saying that he wished he had beat up everyone that was calling the cops, or that he should've beat the guy to death which would somehow prevent him from going to jail?

related topic

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On a related topic, I have noticed a decided increase in defiant people smoking in T stations. Certainly not every day, but enough to take note of. Since I ride the Blue Line more frequently than other lines, I have noticed it most at the Wood Island and State Street stops. The T should crack down on this before it becomes more widespread.

Selfish smokers

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Same here. I have confronted people smoking in T stations on numerous occasions, though I always speak in a calm tone of voice and always make my request civilly and politely, as in "would you please put that out?" The reactions have ranged from sheepish extinguishing of the cigarette to "You wanna call a cop?" followed by "yeah, go stand somewhere else" from the smoker's companion. As if a cop would make any difference, even if one was standing next to me...

After hearing about this incident I will certainly think twice before confronting someone else, but the behavior of smokers is infuriating to me. They are absolutely the most selfish people I have come across in any situation, and I resent having to breathe their pollution in a situation where it's impossible to get away from it.

I think non-smokers like you

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I think non-smokers like you are pretty selfish, thinking that every smoker is below you and must bow down to whatever your needs are. I am a smoker, and do no smoke in T stations. I do not smoke near little kids. I do not smoke near people who obviously do not want a smoker near them. But honestly man, take your attitude and shove it. Maybe it isn't these "selfish smokers" you speak of, maybe it's just assholes in general you don't like. Because I know some pretty selfish non smokers who park horrendously in parking lots or on city streets, I know some selfish non smokers who jump fare gates and shove their baby carriages into people who are already on the train.

So you know what? I'd relax if I were you. Maybe you need a cigarette..

smokers need to die faster

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I swear to god, it's gotten worse and worse each year - you can'twalk two blocks without sucking in some asshole's cigarette smoke; it's been banned everywhere inside, so now they just smoke everywhere outside, where nobody can avoid them.

They smoke in front of the coffee and ice cream shops.
They smoke in huge numbers in front of bars, some of which are in busy business districts and there's no way around.
They smoke at the bus stop.
They smoke on the T platforms.
They smoke right in front of signs on private property which say "this campus is a smoke-free zone."

I've been playing in a soccer game, standing on the sidelines, when some douche whose girlfriend was playing in the game lights up a cigarette and starts puffing away. When I confront him and tell him to put it out he says "What's your problem, maaaaan?"

You can find a half dozen or so people camped out on the very edge of the painted property line in front of Children's hospital, where little kids with all manner of diseases have to walk (or be pushed) by; Childrens had to put up huge signs everywhere telling people not to smoke on the property, but they can't stop people from standing on the property line right at the driveway and smoking like a chimney. The same in front of the various cancer research buildings in Longwood. Irony, anyone?

Even being on your bike isn't an escape - if some douche is smoking at the bus stop and you'll get a good lungful or two of it passing by on the street.

And heaven forbid you tell the smoker to cut it out, especially if they're standing in front of a sign which says "NO SMOKING". They'll tell you to go fuck yourself, and maybe even blow smoke in your face. The guys on the T are the worst- they're fucking hoodlums and you don't dare say anything to them for exactly the above reason.

I thought we proved 2 decades ago that second-hand smoke is really hazardous to your health. So why do we allow people to engage in this disgusting, harmful-to-the-general-public crap?

Twinkies

They are legal to use in more spaces than ciggies, and they don't kill bystanders and people you share space with.

Cripes.

It's just like William S.

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It's just like William S. Burroughs said in his Thanksgiving remarks:

"Thanks, for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business."

What a bunch of little prisses.

Second-hand smoke

Is the business of the ones who are not smoking, but breathing it all the same.

Second hand twinkies would be a consensual experience.

Don't walk so close to

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Don't walk so close to smokers. Problem solved.

Well, those Twinkies begin

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Well, those Twinkies begin effecting me when the social and cultural costs of obesity spill over into the general public by making healthcare costs skyrocket, creating a man-made epidemic of sick people, and killing our own countrymen and women at a higher rate than cigarettes do. If I was not at work and had better internet access, I could pull some numbers that discredit open-air 2nd hand smoke hypothesis and illuminate the downfall of American health tied directly to our horrible diets. Plus, asthmatics should worry more about power-plant pollution, smog, pollen, and car exhaust more so than a very non-contained waft of a cigarette. Hell, I bet bathroom cleaning supplies make asthmatics wheeze, but how much do you want to bet they still use bleach and ammonia products?

It's called personal responsibility. I smoke as to not effect others. You seem to demonize smokers for a personal choice that, in reality, does not make you feel any worse health-wise (boo hoo, unpleasant smell, tell that to the person who uses the stall after you take a huge dump; maybe the fecal particulates in the air will settle in that person's lungs and screw him/her up for life).

Digging the righteous indignation thing with the smokers..

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I love reading people who get all insulted when they feel like they're being discriminated against while they slowly kill themselves. Of course most of them don't realize that they are nothing more than pawns of Big Tobacco.

In the dealings I've had with people who work in that industry, I can honestly say that 9 out of 10 of them have never touched a cigarette.

So smoke away, and enjoy your perceived individuality, when really you're just helping to make some assholes rich who would never touch the stuff.

You sound like somebody who'd

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You sound like somebody who'd be a lot of fun to grab a beer with.

Haven't had a drink

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since Vegas August 2001. Only because you wouldn't like me when I drink....

And it sounds like you

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And it sounds like you wouldn't like me when I smoke. Let's just keep our distance.

Keep smoking!

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And I'll bet I'm not the only one who keeps their distance from you.

And I bet I'm not the only

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And I bet I'm not the only one who thinks you sound like a whiner! Enjoy your dietary yeast at lunch!

My favorite thing about

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My favorite thing about Boston (Cambridge, really) is the preponderance of over-educated hipsters who love to talk about international development and sustainability and public health with the same tone as complete totalitarians. Aesthetically, this talk is worse even than its politics. It's the self-righteous, hothouse orchid whining of the privileged, entitled, effete coffee-house activist. You expect to mandate certain behaviors without feeling obligated to present proof of harm or honestly weigh it against encroachment on personal freedoms. And then you expect everybody to be grateful, the way you probably were taught to expect adulation in prep school and at university where you've always been patted on the head for being such a sharp one.

Give it a rest.

Translation

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Wahhhhh wahhhh I can't be expected to behave myself wahhhh wahhhh bow down to my self-declared king douch privileges wahhh wahhh mind own business wahhhh wahhh wahhh ME ME ME ME ME ME wahhhhh!

Nah. The ones who want to ban

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Nah. The ones who want to ban outdoor/public smoking are the ones weeping. They expect everybody to conform to their standards of behavior without feeling any obligation to prove real harm.

Nobody is expected to

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Nobody is expected to "behave" in a way you like. If you feel one's behavior represents some injury to you, the onus is on you, not the accused.

But, when it comes to public health hysteria and the pallid, sensitive types who love to mind everybody else's business, the requirement for proving any sort of harm seems to be waived altogether. Why is that?

I'm sorry......

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What was that middle part again?

And don't call me stupid!

getta grip

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It's simple. They're human beings. The same way you smoke pot, or decide to eat meat, or sing kumbaya with Occupy: it's a life choice. Deal with it.

I don't smoke personally, and I don't go out of my way to make smokers feel like their a subhuman species simply because they need a puff. You'd rather strap them to a rocket and send them straight into the sun. That's some real condescending shit.

I need coffee in the morning, some people need a cigarette to get through their day. As long as their smoking legally, that's just fine.

Really?

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According to Wikipedia, the literature puts absolute risk increase for heart disease at just over 2% and the attributable risk at 23% (this is talking about indoor exposure). That's comparable to findings of long-term exposure to vehicle emissions. So, before you talk about something "hurting people", make sure you understand the rabbit hole of "harm" you're going down. Shall we stop walking across the grass to save the microbes? You can ban every behavior you find distasteful, but you will still die, and you will have very little say in when it happens.

The "smoking is a personal freedom" banner

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RE: "...it's a life choice. Deal with it."

For those who wave the "smoking is a personal freedom" banner, they must remember one thing. Your personal freedom ends where mine begins. Your personal freedom cannot intrude upon someone else, and, whichever way you look at it, cigarette smoke does.

So do farts. What legislation

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So do farts. What legislation do you propose to cover that one?

Fascists in training.

Smoking is not a bodily function

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The smoking/farting analogy is inherently flawed. Unless one is specifically trying to be an asshat,no one intentionally farts around other people. However, as a bodily function, like sneezing, they sometimes come unbidden and cannot be helped. It's not really that big of a deal. Smoking, however, is something one chooses to do or not do. Therefore it is a personal freedom that should not impinge upon others.

But urinating is a bodily

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But urinating is a bodily function, and it's broadly regulated. So, I nominate farts as the next behavior for regulation. Down with second-hand methane!

True Fascists

Would line up and shoot all the weakling drug addicts.

Farts don't kill - second hand smoke does kill. Sorry if that's a buzz kill, but smoke in your own space like those that toke in their own space and all is well with the world.

How about all the people who

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How about all the people who drink soy lattes? Soy farming is ravaging natural habitats. But you don't see me going around pushing for ordinances against latte sippers.

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They might. But they might

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They might. But they might just start by telling business owners they can't allow smoking in their establishments. And then they'd make it a crime to smoke in public places. Then maybe they'd make you take a nicotine test for public benefits, unemployment, etc. and eligibility for public jobs. Then they'd start lining people up. It's a process. As for twinkle-fingers, I can see a lot of scenarios in which the OWS crowd could be far more oppressive and destructive than even the worst of the neoliberals.

I think it's amazing that walking by smokers in the open air is such a public health threat. Yet, the city is jam-packed with cars and broken gas lines and lead paint and benzine gas and hydrogen sulfide and on and on. But the problem is smokers in the open air. Amazing!

You'd think so, but you don't have a clue

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"Then maybe they'd make you take a nicotine test for public benefits, unemployment, etc. and eligibility for public jobs. Then they'd start lining people up. It's a process. As for twinkle-fingers, I can see a lot of scenarios in which the OWS crowd could be far more oppressive and destructive than even the worst of the neoliberals."

No, moron, it's your crowd that wants to start lining people up.

Drug tests for welfare recipients ring a bell?

My "crowd"? Who do you think

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My "crowd"? Who do you think you are, simpleton? I'm interested in the rights of the individual. It's entirely possible (and historically precedented) for something so seemingly benign as anti-smoking (public health) campaigns to become part of a totalizing force. But you imagine that I'm some Gadsden Flag-waving wingnut simply because I don't think it ought to be hard to mind one's own business (even if that means your delicate tastes aren't always respected to your liking).

See how viciously narrow the left has become? It will soon rival the Tea Baggers in this regard. I'm no more interested in the idiots shouting "property is theft" (because talking about Proudhon is so chic!) than the cranky suburbanites parroting Michael Savage and Glenn Beck. Neither faction seems to be particularly critical in their political thinking. But, I'm beginning to appreciate the Gadsden Flag crowd in at least wanting to be left the hell alone.

you 'getta grip,' Clodester (not verified) - 4/8/12 - 1:28 am

How is politely asking someone to extinguish their cigarette which they are smoking in a non-smoking area, such as Children's Hospital, a subway platform or on a train, treating the smoker as if he/she is a subhuman species? How is it just fine for someone to legally expose their kids to carcinogenic second-hand smoke?

Please.

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When you get a break from your whining, could you produce evidence that exposure to dispersed tobacco smoke outdoors is a significant health risk? I think you'll have a hard time proving it more dangerous than vehicle emissions, furniture off-gassing, and other sources of ambient exposure (natural or anthropogenic).

Don't confuse disliking something with its being a serious health concern.

Wow, just wow

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Mr. Mucci has a Facebook page, where he posted the following on March 24:

Was on the train an beat up some asshole not minding his business. Won but he caught my eye.fuuuuck ,why can't shit bags mind there business. he swung an I finished. Everyone calling the cops.fucking bullshit. Should have kept the hurting going. Don't need or want jail. People should mind there business an man up when they run there mouth an make moves.anyhow people agree but will tell too. All happy.then a let down ...again

Impulse Control issues and more!

I'm amazed that such an illiterate thug of his age isn't plying his ink trade in prison already with that sort of attitude toward life. I wonder if he was being sheltered by someone who found him useful.

He does have a ten page rap sheet

That's according to at least one of the linked articles here.

I'm wondering if he did spend some time in prison, and was released for some reason.

Facebook Post

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Well if you can believe his facebook posts he may have spent almost half of his life in prison already:

Paul Mucci
January 6 via Facebook for Android
Been in prison for 20 plus years alone,now I'm alone again in freedom ....why?

More people lighting up INSIDE trains too...

This past summer, I was half asleep while I was getting on the Red Line at South Station. As soon as the doors close, this guy lights up... but it's not a regular cigarette... ITS A DOOBIE!!!

After getting over the initial shock (and looking at other people to make sure I was actually seeing this) I asked him to put it out. He ignored me, and got off at Park Street I think. Yeah, I smelled precious going into work that morning....

I think we also need. . .

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. . . to give a shout out to the unidentified female passenger who jumped on Mucci's back and disarmed him. That takes some guts.

To those who think he should

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To those who think he should myob, Rumor has it the alleged assaulter was asked by a woman w/baby to stop smoking around her baby and the assualtee intervened.

Neither. It's irrelevant

There's currently lots of talk in the media about "Stand your ground," but the concept only comes into play when you are being threatened and have a choice between running away or "standing your ground." Since the victim here was reportedly inside an enclosed subway car and he quickly ended up on the losing side of the fight, it sounds like the victim wasn't presented with this choice. If the victim had pulled a pencil out of his pocket and stabbed Mucci to death with a single blow, it would have been a traditional self-defense situation, not a "Stand your ground" situation.

Even in the infamous Martin / Zimmerman case, it's not clear that "Stand your ground" is applicable. If Zimmerman's (improbable) story is to be believed, Martin jumped him, pinned him down, and repeatedly banged Zimmerman's head against the concrete sidewalk. That doesn't sound like a situation where Zimmerman had a choice between running away or standing his ground; it's a straightforward self-defense case. [This is all hypothetical, because we don't yet know the exact circumstances of the encounter between the two.]

Here's a hypothetical "Stand your ground" situation: Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, is standing on the platform at Wonderland Station. He is carrying a concealed handgun, for which he has a permit (yeah I know it's silly, bear with me). Paul Mucci is slowly approaching him holding a knife and threatening to kill him. In Massachusetts, you have a "duty to retreat" - you must first attempt to escape the situation, rather than using force. So Usain Bolt is required to flee.

But what if Massachusetts has a "Stand your ground" law identical to Florida's? In that case, Bolt has no duty to retreat. He can pull out his gun, crack a big smile, and say "Go ahead, make my day." Mucci continues to approach Bolt, and Bolt responds by shooting him in the head. Assuming there are credible witnesses, Bolt's shooting is justified and the police are prohibited from arresting him.

Raps per page?

Prosecutors had asked for bail of $25,000 for Mucci, who has a ten-page rap sheet with convictions for, among other things, assault and battery.

You always hear about how many pages some guy's rap sheet has... but what does this really mean? I have no idea how many convictions would fit on a 10-page rap sheet. Is there a standard number of "raps per page" that all jurisdictions use when printing rap sheets? Some universal constant, we'll call it R, such that R * numberOfPagesInRapSheet = numberOfConvictions? Maybe some types of crimes take up multiple pages? And does anyone really use "sheets" of paper anymore? Isn't it all computerized these days?

(This is totally out of curiosity; I don't really care that much...)

Rap Sheets

Your standard Massachusetts CORI check is going to consist of criminal arriagnments, Restraining orders, and on the first page it will have your information and any aliases you have ever used when getting arrested.

In general the first page will have 4 arragnments (unless it is filled with 2-3 aliases), and every other page will have 7-9 arraignments depending on how the printer cuts them off.

So if you say someone has a 10 page rap sheet, it should mean he was charged with 65-75 crimes. If you include restraining orders in that "rap sheet" though, it could be a lot less since a CORI check will include every single expired restraining order you have ever had.

Oh, well

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He'll have plenty of time now to practice jailhouse tattooing. You know, etching crosses on the other morons fingers? I'm sure he'll be able to get all the cigs he needs while his skank girlfriend goes back to picking up other scumbags at Bill Ash's.

Going to raise the bar

He may be an illiterate thug, but the guy is a credible tattoo artist if you look through the facebook link.

Some guys are going to come out a lot better decorated - if he doesn't end up in solitary for much of his stay due to his attitude issues.

Hitler painted pretty pictures too...

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Some of this scumbags greatest hits;

"went to boston yesterday an got ripped off for my food card,his name is russia,we did time in the bay,what a stupid fuck!people are stupid when it comes to druges,im gonna attack on sight,im fuckin crazy when i go off,he will probly rat when i put something in him"

And this favorite;

"im not to old to kick an assholes ass ,now am i?
step up! im in the mood for some entertianment"

OK, here we have some moron who grew up on the mean streets of Stoneham(!) talking shit on a FACEBOOK page about how tough he is and how the world just doesn't understand a cretin with an IQ of about 40 and a penchant for violence. Oh, but he draws real good, though.

Seeing how you seem to be an expert on penology now, please tell me how you think those various stays in the can went for ole Paul? I'd bet money he was bitched out after about 15 minutes and celled with a guy who made him clean the toilet with his tongue.

Who knows?

Maybe he liked life on the inside.

Certainly seems to be in some hurry to go back.

Wow, I've completely lost

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Wow, I've completely lost respect for you with that comment. It's pathetic that you gloss over the crime cause he's good with the needle. Besides there are plenty of great tattoo artists in Boston, a guy doesn't need to be a thug to do so.

Jumping to conclusions

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I don't think she was saying that he is a talented artist and let's ignore the fact that he's a criminal scumbag sociopath.

One lesson I took from this is to get off and get on a different train if something is bothering you. Tell the MBTA conductor or police.

Getting stabbed or beaten over such nonsense is not really worth it. I'm going to make it home to see my kids. If it isn't life or death then keep your mouth shut.

If you're so worried about second hand smoke then get away from it.

Never underestimate how crazy the other guy could be. You only have one life.

Cue the "Why did you get the officials involved" crew

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I agree - get a T-cop or inspector or conductor or whatever to handle the problem.

I don't agree that such activity should go unchallenged however. That simply normalizes this bullshit and makes it more likely to breed in the sewers.

Except then you get the "why didn't you handle this yourself in a neighborly way" crowd braying away, though. As if it is a crime to 1) call jerks out on their behavior that is illegal and affecting others and 2) get a professional to handle it.

You just need to learn to read

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I take it English isn't your first language? No? Second part of the comment is pretty damn clear.