A federal judge yesterday sentenced Dwayne Leaston-Brown, 31, to 57 months in federal prison for the loaded gun he pulled out in a beef with a rival gang member in Mattapan Square, a gun he tried to keep hold of as a Boston cop on a detail spotted him running and gave chase - a race he lost because he was first slowed by a pedestrian he had to push out of the way and then because he tripped twice.
Leaston-Brown, a member of the Junior Kaos gang, was still on probation following his release just five months earlier on another federal gun sentence when he encountered a member of the rival Greenfield gang at the Mattapan House of Pizza around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2018, according to a sentencing recommendation by federal prosecutors. Both drew guns - Leaston-Brown had a Kahr Arms model CM9, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, loaded with six rounds - but Leaston-Brown tried to flee - first by running into the pizza place, then by running down the street, initially with the other guy in pursuit.
As he ran, he ran into a customer exiting the America’s Food Basket at 926 Cummins Highway, then ran through the Food Basket parking lot, exiting onto Fairway Street in the direction of Blue Hill Ave.
A BPD officer in his cruiser on a traffic detail - overseeing installation of a new traffic light in the square - spotted Leaston-Brown running, looking over his shoulder, with a fearful look on his face.
The officer made a U-turn and began to follow him, onto Fairway Street, the document continues, adding at one point he had his gun out, although not pointed at anybody. Leaston-Brown ended up on Blue Hill Avenue, ran across it, through traffic and the officer followed at one point pulling even with him and asking him to stop. But he kept running. He tripped and fell, the officer got out of his cruiser and ran after him, telling him to stop, but he got up and
As he was running in front of the Santander Bank at 1617 Blue Hill Ave. in Mattapan, he tripped and fell. When Leaston-Brown fell to the ground, a silver and black firearm fell from his person, landing on the pavement in front of him and to his right. Officer Taylor got on top of him and tried to prevent him from getting up or reaching for the firearm, but Leaston-Brown continued to struggle with him.
Fortunately for the officer, an off-duty BPD detective who happened to be a passenger in a car in the square spotted the struggle, told the driver to stop and he got out to aid the officer - and used the officer's radio to call for backup as a crowd began to gather.
Leaston-Brown was initially charged in Dorchester District Court, but those charges were dismissed after a federal grand jury indicted him on charges that included being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
He pleaded guilty in October, 2020. The other gang member was also arrested, on state charges.
Prosecutors had urged Leaston-Brown be sentenced to as much as 7 1/4 years.