Police: Thorty wannabe blocks riders from 39 bus, pummels cops, now faces lengthy penalty

Transit Police report arresting an out-of-towner they say used a hockey stick to threaten the driver of a 39 bus at Forest Hills and prevent riders from boarding around 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

Police continue that John Capehart, 50, of Marlborough did not willingly go with them to the penalty box:

Officers attempted to calm Capehart and ascertain what his issue was, however Capehart was not interested in discussing his behavior but rather continued his tumultuous and combative actions. At one point Capehart physically assaulted one of the police officers by striking them in the chest with a closed fist. It took several officers to subdue Capehart and he was placed into custody for various Assault charges and Disorderly Conduct. Capehart was transported to Transit Police HQ for the arrest booking process.

At Transit Police HQ Capehart violently attacked the booking officer by punching him the face with a closed fist. Capehart followed the closed fisted strike by spitting in the officer's face. Capehart was subdued by several officers and will face additional assault charges.

Innocent, etc.

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Mental health issue

There's no point in throwing the book at this guy, since punishment has little to no deterrent effect on him or on other people with significant untreated mental illness. He simply needs to be in a cage where he isn't a risk to the rest of us. Make it a comfortable, luxurious cage -- there's no benefit to anyone in making him suffer further - but make it a secure one.

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Blunt but accurate

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Unfortunately you're right. I also wonder how much the problem is what could be called mental health (which hopes for treatment) versus a mental state that for the person is healthy - but not for the larger society. In other words people who are born evil. I define evil as a state of human chaos instead of applying a moral judgement to the idea. That chaos is manifested in situations such as this fellow. Sometimes the chaos is due to chemical imbalances, or brain matter than was harmed. Sometimes I think that the chaotic nature is one that a person is born with. That person is the one who - if they can't control their nature - needs to be set apart from open society for the rest of their lives. But that winds up being a Catch-22. If a person has a chaotic nature why would they want to control it? Controlling their own chaos goes against their nature.

But then there are the majority of people who are in prison not because they are born with chaotic natures but because chaos - or evil - is nurtured in them whether due to poverty, grossly dysfunctional upbringing, drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD (a mental state that can happen as easily in a peaceful society as in war). If the forces that nurture chaos - or again, evil - were addressed in better ways than we do - then perhaps the budgets for prisons would not need to be in the billions. Imagine putting the billions spent on incarcerating the over 2 million people incarcerated toward guiding, teaching and even training them to be self-sufficient, successful members of open society.

frustrating

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Agreed, this must be very frustrating for the police. The guy is clearly a former hockey player, and thus quite capable at both offence and defence. Some days you have to arrest a 90 yr old 90 lb grama for refusing medical treatment. Some days you have to arrest hockey players.

Okay, no

a) it doesn't necessarily need to be a 'significant untreated mental illness' beyond substance abuse - I don't see anything inconsistent here with alcoholism + personal issues, as opposed to a more chronic condition. I also don't see anything inconsistent with schizophrenia - you can't tell from a freaking police blotter! And I doubt you're a psychiatrist or have any relevant background here.

b) Yes, he should have the book thrown at him. Even if he had a significant untreated psychotic bipolar disorder or something, he needs to face, first, a psychiatrist, then a judge/jury for a serious crime. It's possible and maybe likely that he'd be absolved of responsibility due to mental illness; he certainly deserves that sort of consideration. If he was just drunk and belligerent, he also deserves that consideration - a court needs to decide between jail, rehab, or a psych ward.

c) modern psychiatry is a wonderful thing. If this was a psychotic break and he was too crazy to understand what he was doing, atypical antipsychotics could very well solve the problem entirely. If he was merely psychotic, he'll need a 'life sentence' of drugs and a social worker. He might need to be in a hospital for a few weeks, but behavior like this does not mean he deserves to be locked in a 'luxurious' cage for the rest of his life.

The idea that the severely mentally ill are universally too far-gone to have responsibility for themselves, and that a psychotic break is a crime requiring a life sentence (however 'luxurious') is often phrased as compassion, but it's a human rights violation. I have a serious psychotic mental illness myself, and I'm glad I'm able to rent an apartment, work part-time, and schedule my own appointments and pharmacy visits, rather than await anxiously my daily 30 minute walk around the grounds of McLean.

OK, yes

Where, from anything I wrote, did you get that I think he needs a life sentence? He needs to be in a cage until it is determined that his behavior is not a threat.

My main point is that when a case like this comes up I'm sick of hearing from everyone's favorite "execute everyone" poster and from the usual band of retributive "Lets see if a good ass-whupping improves his attitude" anons.

"Old Time Hockey!"

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Taz went into the stands, this guy left the rink and got on the bus. That's a commitment to the game you don't often see...

T-cops are taking a beating

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Isn't this the second or third time this week t-cops have been attacked by crazy passengers and I thought driving a bus was dangerous!

Ah yes, those folks again

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I've said this here before, but I'll say it again: This is the sort of stuff that happens when you let unchecked drinking and drug use go on at the entrance to the southwest corridor directly across the street from Forest Hills.

I've called the police repeatedly, filed a citizens connect and seen the police physically scraping drunks off of the sidewalks on a weekly basis, and still they can't be bothered to do a damn thing about it.

There is a pathetically simple solution to the majority of the problems that happen in this area: when you drive by in your police car one of the 10 times you no doubt do on a daily basis, pull over, get out, and tell the drunks and drug abusers that are sitting there that if you see them there again they're getting arrested for public intoxication and loitering.

But that's apparently too difficult.

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