Arnold Arboretum attack was in the rose garden near the Forest Hills gate

UPDATE: Arrest made.

Yesterday's sexual attack and robbery happened in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection near the Forest Hills gate in the arboretum's northern end (Arboretum map), according to a memo sent to Arnold Arboretum staff today

The memo, now circulating on neighborhood mailing lists, says the victim had set up a blanket off Willow Path (which parallels the Arboway) , about 100 yards from the gate. Around 11 a.m., she was approached by a man with what appeared to be "a hunting-style" knife, who threatened her with "assault and death" and then took her purse.

Police described the attacker as a black male in his early twenties, 5’4” to 5’6” and thin. he wore a black do-rag, a white t-shirt and dark jeans with some gray. He rode a black bicycle.



Free tagging: 


Parks are for pedestrians

Not transportation. Bicyclists, motorcyclists, scooter/atv riders, car/truck drivers shouldn't be allowed to enter. Vehicles make for faster getaways by criminals.


Troll much?

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Lordy. How about we work on keeping the criminals and rapists out and THEN worry about the bicycles? Ok? Jeeze Louise...


we should actually ban all

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we should actually ban all vehicles since criminals use them to rape people and sell drugs, we should also ban stuff like plastic bags and food scales because they are used to sell drugs, we should ban rope and duct tape for sure, I think we should really just stop the production of anything that could ever possibly be used by a criminal to gain an advantage in the committing of their crimes. It's a really good, smart, logical solution. You're a smart guy

This is the sort of stuff that happens...

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This is what happens when you allow an area (the Southwest Corridor, by the Forest Hills T station, which is 100 yards from where this attack occurred) to be overrun by drunks and drug addicts, and you do nothing about it. I've called the BPD repeatedly about this, and they've done nothing. I've told them about the individuals there doing drugs, getting drunk and harassing women, and yet they're there every day without any sort of consequences. Recently they've set themselves up an encampment! Right on New Washington street!

Finally, yesterday, after someone was sexually assaulted a quarter mile away, they got their shit in gear and actually patrolled the area.

Only took a sexual assault and robbery at knifepoint to get them off their asses and doing something.


Thank you...

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very much for taking the time to call the police and report the fights, harassment, and shooting up that I've seen going on there. I gave up calling about a year and a half ago. The activity that goes on there creates an environment of disorder that encourages more serious crime to flourish. I'm a big believer in the "broken windows" theory.


That area at the end of the bike path

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Is pretty creepy. The whole area is a mess--hard to navigate on foot or bike, unwelcoming, poorly designed and maintained. Hopefully the planned changes will air things out and make it more of a healthy, functional hub for everyone.

Poorly Designed?!

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The design would not be a problem in the slightest if it weren't for the scum bags that were occupying it. Having a LARGER park, with more benches, and more park space to patrol will not make this problem go away, and may, in fact, exacerbate it.

Where did I say "a bigger park?"

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The Southwest Corridor is a pretty "big park" with and yet it has very few hot spots in terms of crime, people hanging out. The area where the creepers hang out towards FH is sheltered by bushes and yes--poorly designed. It's like a stagnant little backwater, just waiting for trouble, FH as it is today is full of unused/ low use paths and areas; it's unclear how to get from point A to point B. Streamline the whole thing and the trouble spots will be hugely reduced.

In my experience, BPD is

In my experience, BPD is absolutely horrible about addressing quality-of-life issues. Noise, loitering, suspected drug dealing: all seem to be ignored by BPD until there's a big problem.


Squeaky wheels get the grease

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I believe that city agencies, including the police, frequently work on the squeaky wheel theory. The louder the squeak the more likely they will respond. That's not always true. I've seen both city and state agencies respond quickly to situations without a lot of complaint. Some problems are obvious but notice just needs to be brought to the agency that can help resolve the issue. But the issue of people hanging out in a public space might not be as easy to address as one would think. Plus if they are hanging out on state property then jurisdiction might be an issue.

One thing that can be done is to join or start a neighborhood block size discussion list on a website such as Big Tent. It's a good way to share information and see if there are other folks who share similar concerns. If there are then you have a louder squeak.

I've Squeaked

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Believe me, I've squeaked. I've been squeaking for years. And the real kick in the ass about the whole thing is that it would take them literally 5 minutes out of their day to get out of their cars and tell those people not to be there. But, as I said, they couldn't be bothered until someone got raped and robbed...If this happened someone I knew, I'd be filing a lawsuit, citing the multiple calls, ignored, to keep these people out of the area.

once the overpass comes down

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these guys won't have so many places to hide out anymore. there's a caged in area under the ramp across from the courthouse that regularly has people in there doing drugs - the other embankment near the arboretum sometimes has people up there drinking... one time I saw them up there huddled around a fire like a bunch of cavemen.

Homelessness and addiction are real problems, but providing a space for addicts to congregate without any police presence is a serious safety issue - especially in a place with a lot of pedestrian traffic.


The overpass is irrelevent

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This has nothing to do with the overpass. They weren't under, around or near the overpass. They were in the entrance to the park, in the wide open, and very conspicuous.

Let me guess, you're an "at grade" advocate?

Don't use this as pro-at-grade talking point. Because it's not. The new proposed park will not fix this problem, and may make it worse.

What do the homeless drunks

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near the entrance to the SWC have to with this rapist? Seems as if you're drawing imaginary conclusions based on your own sketchy interpretations.


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Let's talk about how urban crime reduction has worked for the past 40 years real quickly, just so you're informed. It's called the "Broken Window" policy of urban policing. It says that if you allow an area to be blighted or occupied by drunks and drug addicts, the violent and property crime in that area is likely to be higher than if you don't. Meaning, since the people around Forest Hills see that it's OK to hang around and be publicly shitfaced and drug addled with no repercussions, it emboldens them and others to break more laws.

Do you really not understand how these things are related? Do you think that more blight in the neighborhood makes it LESS likely that you'll get raped and robbed? Do you think in the open drug deals attract fewer criminals, or more?

Get a clue.

I responded to the comment about people doing drugs

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under the overpass - I see them all the time in the caged area across from the courthouse. I have no idea if the attacker is involved with these individuals, but take a look for yourself (zoom in):,-71.068497&spn=0.257606,0.6543...

and besides - the attack happened at the rose garden entrance which is adjacent to the overpass (also not the most conspicuous entrance)... so of course many of us are going to associate what happened with the drug activity that is going on around there.

Crime in the Arb….

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I've been walking in the arboretum for years. I am now there daily after a long absence. It is such a wonderful resource for our great city. I am so grateful to have it and the staff who maintain it. I've noticed a few things that are concerning to me.

1.) As long as I have been going there I find broken glass bottles of beer thrown about and a lot of trash not too far from the main entrance at Bussey St.. This is usually on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There is a bench located in the area and it seems a big party happens on these nights. Why is this not paroled and stopped? There must be a way. It has gone on for so long and is very consistent. I've seen the dog walkers and my friends come out with brooms to get rid of it.

2.) I have a dog. When it is quiet, and there are not any people around (mostly on the trails), I let him off lead for a few moments. The walkers are harassed for this. I know this is against the law, but it can be handled differently, and maybe with some compromise. I clean up after myself and others. Until we get a park where we can relax with our pets (it may be in the works at Stoneybrook Reservation), it is all we have. Because of these restrictions, many of the people with dogs no longer come to the park and it has probably lost revenue as a result. I honestly think the dogs contribute to a crime decrease. The dog walking community cares for this park possibly more than others. We pick up trash and etc. Please think about us and make me feel more welcome.

3.) There are just some common sense rules that could possibly decrease some of these events. People need to be aware of their environment. Stay out in the open preferably in view of others. Put the phone away, enjoy the present, and beauty of what we have been given. Take the ear phones out of your head and listen to the music of nature (or to hear anything suspicious). Above all be safe (slow the bicyclists and skateboarders down) and courteous (get the kids out of the trees) of others.

Thank you.

Crime in the arb includes you

As long as you insist on your right to break the law in the Arb don't complain about other people doing it.

Off-leash dogs running around out of owner's sight shitting, tearing up plantings, and menacing children may be cute to their owners, but it's not to others. It's in the same category as smashing bottles on the ground - hazardous, illegal public nuisance.

Next time you sweep up broken glass there, recognize that it's your kind of people you're cleaning up after, and that your lawlessness contributes to others'.


There's a difference between a rule and a law.

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Letting your dog off-leash is breaking a rule. Not cleaning up after your dog, littering, or drinking while underage is breaking a law. So please, spare us the hyperbole--most of us are grownups and can understand the difference.


Still some growing up to do, Sally

It is the law that you keep your dog on a leash in public. It is listed in the Boston City Ordinances. An ordinance is a law passed by a municipal government.

Specifically, Boston, City Ordinance 16.1-9, following Section 173 of Chapter 140 of Mass. Gen'l Laws.

Grow up a little more, please; you're not done yet. You don't get to pretend that when you want to break a law, it's not a real law.


reply to Sock_Puppet

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You present yourself as very aggressive with concrete thinking. I hate to tell you, but the world is not that extremely dichotomous ("baddies vs. goodies"). Before you judge a huge portion of the community (people with dogs off leashes), you might want to chat with us. Most of us are very conscience and vigilant in caring for the parks. We clean up after ourselves and others. In my own defense, I clean up after my own dog (as well as others that might have missed) and he does not destroy anything. It's the folks out there for weekend strolls that leave most of the trash. My dog does not go near others or kids unless they invite him. I dodge both kids and bicycles all the time.
And I also pay taxes for these parks, children's playgrounds, and the public schools. I have no children, but I do have pets that mean just as much to me. My policy is that if I am not hurting myself, anybody else, or the environment…. the rule should probably be a bit more flexible, and you could be too.
Do you even patronize the parks? Have you joined or paid dues to help maintain them? Lighten up…. A change in attitude and compromise might make your life generally happier. If you are "grown up and done", I never want to be.

Blessings F-R

It's a diverse community

I believe that you're probably very nice except for the degree to which you harm children by contributing to a threatening and hazardous atmosphere in public parks.

We all encounter people who have similar blind spots every day. Very few people are completely law-abiding, and everybody who breaks a law excuses it to themselves the same way. Most such people probably make real contributions to society elsewhere.

There are drunk drivers who excuse it because they haven't been in an accident yet, and support youth sports.

There are people with illegally amplified motorcycles who always stop at crosswalks.

There are drug dealers who never sell to children and support their churches with volunteer work.

There are people who speed like the dickens on residential roads, but always help their neighbors shovel out.

I have met these people. And I've met people like you.

I hope all of them, and you, come to understand, and care about, the harm you do to others, which seems like nothing to you now. Perhaps realizing that the annoyance you pose to others is similar to the annoyance other scofflaws pose to you is the first step.

In support of Diversity….

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Thank you for your thoughtful response, however, you neglected to answer some of my questions. Perhaps, they are none of my business. And yes, I do have plenty of pet peeves about the behavior of others, yet it is not my right to impose my value on them unless it effects me directly, is of obvious pain to another, or jeopardizes our environment. I might have intervened when a school teacher propped 18 kids on the branch of a 100 year old tree for a photograph until it broke. You judge me (us) harshly. I still feel strongly, that I do NOT contribute to the harm of children, a threatening, or hazardous atmosphere. Again, my dog does not bother anybody, gives pleasure to the folks that do want to connect with him (including kids), and I Do clean up after him. It is obvious I will never change your mind (about well behaved dogs off leash and responsible guardians), but I bid you have more tolerance, and an open mind. You are right in that it is a diverse community and you and I are part of it. Is not that grand? The parks are for everybody to enjoy. You have not "met" me or do you know me. If you did, my opinion would not be such a difficult issue for you.

Wishing you peace….


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See response on the original article "Universal Hub" page.

You're right, since you chose

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You're right, since you chose to get a dog in the city (which is selfish and terrible for the dog as it is) they should build a dog haven for you with taxpayers money and until then people should be happy about you letting your dog off your leash where you're absolutely not supposed to since your dog helps fight crime. You sound like a smart, well-rounded individual who cares about others

Not sure how to read this…..

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I live in a quiet neighborhood a few miles from the hub of the city. My dog goes for 2 long walks daily. His life is neither "terrible" nor am I "selfish". Most that know me would agree that I am a "smart, well-rounded individual who cares about others". I'm not sure how to read your comment or what your opinion about the subject matter real is.
Enjoy the weekend, R-F