Man robbed at knifepoint in Allston park

A man walking through Ringer Park shortly after 11 a.m. was surrounded by three young teens, one armed with a knife, who took his phone.

Knife boy was described as black, about 5'6" and wearing a bright-yellow jacket with a scarf over his face.



Free tagging: 


Sorely In Need of Policing

You would think at 11AM you would be relatively safe - broad daylight, a large elementary school bordering the park that has recess either in the park or adjoining spaces, cold out so less impetus for ne'er-do-well to hang around, and in theory during school hours where said teenagers should be in class not in the park.

I don't go in there a lot, just when cutting through - in said daylight - to get somewhere. But now I am questioning even that.

Plus the wooded hills on one side of the park are a major shooting gallery - at least in warmer weather.

So if I know all this, surely the BPD does... so where is the permanently stationed beat cop the park needs?


Beat Cops

Have to agree the method of policing is far too responsive rather than preventive. Sadly the concept of the beat cop seems to have vanished, with patrol cars not meeting the needs of the community.

They should divide D-14 [and other districts or precincts] into evenly sized chunks based on the number of on-duty officers they have during a shift. Then said police should patrol those zones, on foot if possible. I have no idea how many officers are on duty in a shift in a given district, but surely there are enough that no one officer need cover more than a half dozen to a dozen blocks. They could make the assignments static if they feel one person the community would get to know is of more use. Or they could rotate assignments to keep down issues of complacency or corruption. Then have a small number of armed response units that can be called in to bolster or respond as back up where needed.

Instead one typically sees almost no police on the street until after something occurs then they all come running and you see 20 cars in one block, while meanwhile the rest of the precinct goes unwatched.


Beat cops = nonexistent..

Yeah, I'm pretty sure there are no beat cops in Allston/Brighton.. I think D14 assumes that between BUPD and BCPD, they don't need to do their jobs anymore. Plus they're probably all busy detailing a construction site anyways...


Geography matters in a city

Ringer Park is permanently doomed by geography to be a kind of backwater crime haven, unfortunately.

It's very easy to hide up in the hills, most of the park is shielded from view, and criminals can act with impunity because they won't be seen. The kind of danger that is found in many parks at night is available in Ringer Park at all times of day.

As you noted, you can wander up into the woods and see people doing all sorts of questionable things, tucked into the rocks or trees. And the detritus left behind tells a story as well: broken beer bottles, pill bottles, pipes, needles, you name it.

No amount of patrolling that is affordable to the city will do much good. Ringer Park is just not appropriately designed for an urban area: it's isolated from the streets, there's not really any normal reasons for people -- other than adjacent residents -- to pass through or visit it during the course of their day, it's kind of a black hole in the urban fabric.

I consider it a lesson in the danger of unrestrained "greenspacing" of the city. There are many people who believe that "greenspace" is an unmitigated good and Ringer Park is a sharp lesson to the contrary. It's unfortunate, but that's reality.


Walking beats in Allston are usless

Go walk around yourself for 8 hours a day for 365 days a year and you might see 1 or 2 crimes happen right in front of you, and they won't be felonies. Then drive a car around and you might see 3 or 4 crimes a year happen right in front of you, and they won't be felonies either. Put the walking beat in the Park and you probably won't have any crimes happen there, the criminal will just attack the victim in another location after he sees there aren't any cops. Put a few cameras and lights in the park? You have a much better shot of at least catching the suspect.

Then when someone calls 911 and says that a crime is occurring (about 2,000 times a year in Allston?), try walking to that crime to assist the citizen and you might get there 20 or 30 of the 2,000 times. In a car you might get there 1,750 times.

Sure, if you had 100 cops walking around, you might up that number for walking beats making a difference, but you also are paying out much more money on staffing which is horribly inefficient.

And a cop is just a human being who is trained in criminal law and procedure, and defensive tactics. There are other, cheaper ways to thwart crimes than to have trained officers stationed there when odds are very low that something is actually going to happen.


Police Should Be Proactive Not Reactive

The point is to use a mix of foot or bike patrolmen that have set beats in problematic areas - if not all areas, supported by a small number of motorized response teams for when backup or 911 calls come in. When you are driving in traffic you don't have the ability to look all over the place, down every side street and alley and yard they way you can when walking.
For example, Ringer park is impossible to patrol by car. The few street facing ends of the park are about 10 feet wide, with the vast majority of the park hidden behind buildings from the street. You need to go on foot to patrol the park. Crimes don't rarely occur there. They occur there every day, every night. If not a mugging then heroin sales and use.

Cameras are not an effective crime deterrent. A savvy criminal would just find the blind spots and even when filmed a crime can only be followed up on, not prevented in the first place. And from the CCTV views police always show when seeking a suspect, they're pretty undecipherable. If CCTV prevents crimes from occurring in the first place, why are there so many bank and store robberies?

By placing foot patrols in areas that have high incidences of crime, such that the criminals know the police may be present at any given moment or are just a shout away, they know they will not get away with committing a crime. You state this would just mean they go elsewhere, but the point is to cover everywhere so there is no where for them to go. Instead of giving the police money for more assault rifles, which thankfully Walsh seems to be disinclined to do, use that same money for hiring if more police are needed to cover our geographically tiny city. But the ones we have now cluster and isolate themselves too much. They should spread out and get out of their cars more so they can actually be a presence.

Sounds good, but Allston isn't the place for it.

Like I said, go ahead and walk all those alleys at night in Allston. You might happen upon a crime once or twice a year, and you won't be able to help out citizens who are calling for help and letting you know where they are.

I understand the point about some areas not being accessible to vehicles, but many of those areas actually do have the unmarked units checking them out, if you listen to a scanner, you can hear it.

As for CCTV, they might not be a crime deterrent, but most criminals aren't savvy, and the views that these cameras do get lead to arrests much more than if they weren't there. There are many bank and store robberies because junkies need quick cash, and aren't that smart. I don't have the stats off hand, but probably close to 100% of bank robbers end up getting caught. I would imagine that number would be close to 10% if there were no cameras. Cameras aren't the panacea for crime prevention, but they are a huge help.

And you can't cover everywhere, that was my biggest point.

Fixing Broken Windows.

You ever hear of the broken window policy?

An active Police presence and active enforcing of even trivial laws can help prevent even more serious crimes and the deterioration of neighborhoods and communities.

These 3 'kids' will be more likely to commit another crime because they got away with this one.

I've cut through that park a few times last summer during the afternoon, usually all I see is kids playing basketball. Good to know that it can be dodgy. But that leads to problems too as the more people avoid the park the worse it may become as there's less social pressure not to do 'bad' things.

In my opinion a cop on the beat saying "hey guys, how ya doing" can only be a good thing.


I think it's kind of funny

I think it's kind of funny that whenever the question of police details come up, the police claim that this increases public safety by having officers out in the streets where they can (occasionally) respond to some crime that's happening in the immediate vicinity of the work site they're assigned to. And, yes, anecdotally, this does happen occasionally, although I suspect that the overall percentage of traffic details that result in incidental arrests is probably pretty small.

Yet, when it's suggested that officers walk the streets as part of their *job*, this is completely useless, and won't contribute to public safety in any possible way.


20 vs 2

Is probably the ratio you have for detail officers vs walking beat, and the detail officer isn't being paid by the City. Vand it is the City and the police who want the details, not just the police.

And there are plenty of social scientists who will tell you that walking beats are ineffective in certain areas, thy might look good when you see them, and make you feel safe, but they don't always reduce crime.

Try again

I have no idea what any of this is supposed to mean. If you're saying that there are 20x more detail cops than beat cops (are you? I have no idea), then that just says to me that we need more beat cops. The ratio I asked for is the percentage of police details that result in an arrest or the prevention of a crime.

If you have any links to actual articles that explain why it wouldn't reduce crime to have beat cops walking through a place like Ringer Park, go ahead and post them, otherwise, I'm going to go on naively believing that having cops walk a beat through a public park periodically would discourage criminals from making it their regular hangout spot. Or, failing that, the cops (since I'm assuming they don't suck at their job) would know who the "regulars" are so it would be easier to identify suspects or witnesses when a crime happens. Maybe all of this is completely wrong, but if so, I'd like to see more actual evidence than "plenty of social scientists".

here are a few links......

You also assume that cops do not go through Ringer Park, which would be false, and you would also assume that crime is high in Ringer Park, which would also be false. Do you want a walking beat to go through there 2 hours a day? How often do you listen to a police scanner? How often do you walk around Boston? How many crimes have you witnessed? Your own empirical experiences walking around Allston (listening to a scanner) are much more valuable than any current study of social phenonoma out there.

Sure, hiring 10,000 extra cops would help, but you can't do that. How many extra cops do you want? 2? 10? Would it make you "feel" safer? or would it actually make you safer?

Allston might seem like a dirty, crime ridden urban environment with the need of more policing, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't. Go down to ringer park 2 hours a day and you usually won't find anything, you will end up being bored out of your mind. I assume you already do that since you think a walking beat would be useful there, and you don't think enough patrols,go down there already after your own experiences?

I have plently of gripes

I have plently of gripes about the BPD, but I have had some ok experiences with cops around Ringer Park. Or perhaps I just had a dumb sense of some degree of safety. Either way. Two summers ago, I lived in a crappy, expensive, AC-less apartment near the park and was escaping the heat and hanging out in Ringer Park on a hot night with a friend drinking a beer (yeah, yeah I know...). A cop came over and surprised us by asking, very politely, just to please dispose of our empty bottles after we were done. We were expecting a fine at the very least! It was just such a nice gesture on his part.

I (fortunately) don't live in the neighborhood anymore and it's really disturbing and totally unacceptable that one can't even safely walk through the park during the DAYTIME with an elementary school full of children and a playground nearby.


ringers park...scary since the 80s (70s?)

a young boy (maybe several?) was raped in ringers park in the late 70s early 80s. irish student orla benson was murdered on the stairs over by the west end house in 1995. i personally saw bob (3 beer) gamere get knocked out cold and have his pockets emptied one lovely summer evening in the early 90s. he had been bothering some local youths and they finally let him have it (and then they took his money). its quite a park.


Nasty stuff

Yes, there have been some nasty incidents over the years at Ringer. Which is why there ought to be more of a police presence, bike, foot, horse, just more than a car.

Some places present opportunity, take an aggressive stance, BPD.


I didn't know where Ringer Park is since I'm never in Allston. I was typing it in to Google and the auto-complete drop down popped up and the third result was "Ringer Park beheading." Does anyone know what that's about?

I did Google it


But thanks for your input!

yelp beheading

Make no mistake, however--the danger in Ringer Park can be gruesomely real. "Sometime around '97, a college girl had gone missing for a little while, and they ended up finding her decapitated in the back of Ringer Park," Fair explains. "That's how it got the nickname 'Blood Park.' It's crazy, because it's behind a youth center, but all of a sudden a horrific thing like that happens, and you realize that crazy people can be anywhere."

i believe they are referring to orla benson who was savagely raped and murdered in 95, not sure about the specific details of her injuries. pos named tony rosario killed her, this is a mike barnicle article but i think most of it really happened.

In Fairness

They sued the state of Massachusetts in federal court, and the AG represents the state in those cases. They didn't actually sue the AG.

Head on a swivel

Very true, this area is tough to get a look at from the street. When in doubt, keep something handy. Who's to say worse won't happen in the future.... not starting a gun debate here, but nothing wrong with arming yourself another way... and this is coming from a decently sized 30 year old. A knife or can of OC spray goes a long way in keeping punks at bay. If they want my phone, they'll be earning it.


Speaking of crime in the area, was there every any development on the BU grad student who was murdered on Allston Street about a year ago?

D14 Cops Arrested 1--others ID'd

I heard the call come in and work nearby and watched as the D14 cops stopped one suspect and after making sure his rights were protected they went through an exhaustive process to ensure the victim was protected and had an opportunity to identify the suspect. The suspect was then handcuffed and arrested for this act. Heard later they know who other suspects are. All Boston Public School pupils. Thank You-to our Men and Women in Blue at District 14, Brighton and Allston.