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If you hear knocking on your door, but don't see anybody through the peephole, don't open the door

Boston Police report a homeless man busted his way into a Hammond Street dinner last night and was only subdued by guests and police after he managed to get into the knives in the kitchen.

Police say the drama began around 8 p.m. at 10 Hammond St., when Leonard Higginbottom knocked on the resident's door. When the resident looked through his peephole, he saw nobody in the hall, so he opened his door to see who might be there, police say.

Higginbottom, whom the resident used to occasionally allow into his apartment until "the arrangement did not work out and it [was made] clear to suspect he was no longer welcome," then burst inside and began shoving the resident:

When the four guests came to aid the victim, a struggle ensued. Officers did observe signs consistent with a struggle, overturned vases, broken glass, and a table knocked over. The victim stated to officers that the suspect successfully forced his way into the kitchen area, and then began throwing kitchen knives in their direction.

Higginbottom was charged with armed home invasion, assault by means of a dangerous weapon and armed-assault in a dwelling. The resident reported shoulder pain but declined medical attention.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Why "homeless man" as if to highlight this attribute of the guy, thereby suggesting that anyone who doesn't currently have a fixed residence is crazy and violent?

Why not "black man?" "white man?" "tall man?" "Christian man?" "violent man?"

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See the part about how the victim used to let him stay in his apartment for brief periods of time.

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The perp isn't at large so none, except perhaps violent, descriptors are any better than Adam's.

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Why must you complain?

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Usually an arrest report states the arrested's address. In the case of a homeless person, what do you report? "Thereby suggesting" is happening totally in the head of the readers (if it IS happening); it's not something the reporter can control.

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For one thing, it helps identify a person in a story so he's not confused with somebody else who has the same name. Probably not a lot of Leo Higginbottams around, but the principal still applies.

If it just said "Somerville man" would you automatically assume everyone who lives in Somerville is crazy and violent? That would be silly.

I do fully support the idea of identifying the arrested party by religious affiliation.

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There isn't a widespread assumption (that I know of...) that people from any particular town are crazy, violent, no-good bums. Yet a lot of people make assumptions that people who are homeless are dirty, uncivilized people who carry their belongings around and shout things at people. Which of course isn't the case, especially in this economy; most homeless people are working, a lot are raising families, and they don't look any different from me if you see them riding the T or buying groceries. It's a frequent occurrence, even on this site, for people to refer to "homeless people hanging around" somewhere as if you can look at someone and tell their housing status. We need to actively combat the notion that homeless = people with severe illnesses who go around bothering people (and we don't need to discriminate against the few people who DO fit that description, either).

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So what should we call the crazy street people? The euphemism "homeless" was created because of the stigma associated with earlier terms like "bum", "tramp", and "hobo".

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Say that a person who seemed to have untreated mental illness was yelling things that didn't make sense.

"Disheveled" also works well.

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Why man?

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"Bum-American."

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Bum-American, Bum-American, she was a Bum-Americaaaaaaaaaaaan.

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I heard the news today, whoa-boy. Alllllllll right.

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It could also be really short people. I hate when they come to visit.

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...With all their beady little eyes
And flapping heads so full of lies...

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Or are cookie deliveries an exception?

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If you can't see anyone, chances are it's trolls, not Girl Scouts. The latter are rarely allowed to knock on doors without their parents in tow.

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Yeah, but Troll Scout Cookies aren't nearly as good.

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The ones with bridge rust and pebbles aren't great but they make a knock-off of Mint Thins that isn't half bad.

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Landshark!

IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_N91xwP-lKvw/TSpf5AL95bI/AAAAAAAACjU/2kUK3bwWL5I/s320/landshark1.jpg)

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