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Police officer pursuing robbery suspect is shot twice on Cedric Street in Roxbury

Stanley Staco and Live Boston report a BPD officer was shot in the back and the foot Cedric Street near Langdon Street around 9:15 p.m. One suspect was taken into custody on the roof of the three-story industrial building there.

Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:15


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Former Suffolk prosecutor found not guilty in 2016 rape; still faces trial on 2021 rape charges

WCVB reports a Suffolk Superior Court jury found Gary Zerola not guilty on charges he raped a woman in a North End apartment in 2016.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office, where he once worked as an assistant DA, said it still plans to bring him to trial on a rape charge for a different incident in 2021.

Innocent, etc.


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Item that shut Centre Street in Jamaica Plain was a small lead container once used to hold radioactive material

The thing that sent three employees at Boomerangs, 716 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain, to the hospital as a precaution yesterday evening and led to Centre Street being shut on either side of the store was a "lead pig" - a small lead container with a screw top - designed to hold radioactive material.

In a post in the Jamaica Plain Facebook group, the store's manager, Dee Moore, writes today that someone "unknowingly donated an antique 'lead pig' that they use to transport radioactive materials to shield people from the radiation."

A store employee recognized the item, small enough to be held in one's hand, and alerted her, and she promptly contacted Fenway Health - which oversees the store - BFD and Public Health.

What they found was that the item did at some point hold a type of radioactive material which often are in a powdery substance. Considering that several of us had handled the object directly without gloves, we were taken to get tests done to make sure we were all okay.

She adds:

The store is safe and everyone who was present on Wednesday and Thursday should not be worried about exposure. All of our tests came out okay and we're all resting and recovering after the ordeal!

In a separate statement, Robert Johnson, Fenway Health's director of safety, security and facilities, says what little radiation was being emitted was "very low level, and should not be a concern for staff."

He added it appears the store got the item from "someone with good intent to make a donation who didn't realize what this item may have been," but that Boston Police are continuing to investigate.


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MBTA, Somerville to formally open Green Line Extension path people are already using

The MBTA reports that the Green Line Extension Community Path for pedestrians and bicyclists that runs along the newest part of the Green Line in Somerville will officially open to the public tomorrow.

Somerville reports the path will open at 7 a.m.

The path did not open at the same time as the Green Line Extension. In recent weeks, people had been bypassing the fences that were still up to ride or walk on it.


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Sexual attacker on a 34 bus arrested after he went up to some cops at Forest Hills for a chat a few days later and they recognized him, DA says

Alleged attacker in full display mode. Photo via TPD.

A West Roxbury man was arraigned this week on charges he sexually attacked a woman on a 34 bus outbound from Forest Hills and exposed himself to young girls on another 34 bus the next day, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

During both the May 25 and 26 incidents, people took phone photos of Rufus Sanders Jr., 63, and turned them over to police, the DA's office says.

On June 5, a man holding an open beer container approached officers at the Forest Hills Station and attempted to start a conversation with them. Officers immediately recognized Sanders from the images provided by both victims. Sanders was also wearing the same camouflage bucket hat from the May 25 incidents and identified himself in a still photo provided by one of the victims.

The officers arrested him on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 and lewd, wanton and lascivious conduct, the DA's office reports.

Judge Margaret Albertson set bail at $750 and ordered Sanders to stay away from the victims and the Forest Hills station - which raises the question of how he will get to West Roxbury court, since it is right around the corner from the station. Sanders is scheduled to return to court on June 30 for a pre-trial hearing.

The DA's office detailed Sanders's alleged activities:

At about 6.00 p.m. on May 25, Transit and Boston police met with a woman who reported that a man, wearing a camouflage bucket hat, a white long-sleeve shirt, and gray pants, later identified as Sanders, approached her at Forest Hills Station. Sanders placed his right hand on her shoulder then moved his hand down, cupping her breast. Sanders then moved his hand to her waist, attempting to pull her in. She pushed him out of the way and moved toward a crowded area. While standing in a crowd of passengers, Sanders attempted to grab her again, causing another passenger to intervene.

As the victim got on a bus, Sanders came up behind her and grabbed her bag to pull her off. She was able to break free and board the bus. She walked toward the front of the bus to get away while Sanders headed to the back of the bus. The victim then heard another woman in the back of the bus yell “stop grabbing my ass.” The victim was able to take a picture of Sanders as he got off at the Roslindale Square stop.

The next day, police met with a witness who said she observed a man harassing two young girls on the bus on May 26. When she yelled for the man to stop, he sat across from her, spread his legs and fondled his crotch area with his hand, while staring at her. She recorded the incident and showed the video to investigators. After reviewing the footage, investigators recognized the man in the video to be Sanders, wearing the same clothing as described by the first victim.

Innocent, etc.


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Feds charge Danvers man did Bitcoin-based money laundering for area drug dealers

Trung Nguyen, 47, of Danvers, was arrested today on two counts of money laundering and one count of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business for the three years federal investigators say he ran a scheme to convert money from drug dealers and, in one case, an online romance scammer, into Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

In an indictment unsealed in US District Court in Boston today, Nguyen was charged with converting money for a local meth dealer and for somebody who convinced a Worcester woman that he was in love with her and to accept cash payments - hidden in items such as stuffed animals and books - that she then handed over to Nguyen to convert the money into Bitcoin. The indictment also says undercover agents posing as drug dealers used his services.

Nguyen charged between 5% and 10% per transaction - and often took in amounts of more than $10,000 without reporting them to the government, as required, the indictment continues.

Innocent, etc.


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Somebody was stealing bikes, scooters and trailers in Cambridge and stashing them near the BU Bridge, police say

Cambridge Police report finding a cache of "at least 14 stolen bicycles (standard and electric), parts, trailers, a moped, scooters, license plates, a soccer net and tools" near the BU Bridge Wednesday night.

A police spokesman said no arrests were made and that the investigation continues. Also:

Five residents, who are unhoused and were living in an encampment, were identified. They had no warrants and were offered resources for shelter and food.

Police say all the items have been secured at police headquarters, to await being claimed by owners.

If you or someone you know has had their bicycle or property stolen recently, and you have a serial number or any unique identifying information, please call Detective Ciriello at (617) 349-7726.


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Horsing around in Charlestown

This morning, Tom Jackson saw a man on a horse, a dog and a police escort on Bunker Hill Street and wondered if anybody knew the reason for that.

Ryan Wood promptly answered: Neigh.

Kathryn Kendall said the trio was visiting local schools.


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The City that Always Sleeps seeks help staying up later

City Hall is looking for people to join a new Nightlife Initiative for a Thriving Economy Committee (yes, NITE) to try to turn our sleepy hamlet into something just a bit world classier, with "a more fun, equitable and family-friendly nightlife economy that benefits all residents across neighborhoods."

Committee members will work with Director of Nightlife Economy Corean Reynolds on nailing down all our sidewalks so they don't roll up too early.

The NITE Committee will consist of 21 residents, business and civic leaders who represent a diverse range of expertise and perspectives related to the food and beverage industry, arts and culture, entertainment, public safety, community, and compliance. This committee will support the City’s work to evaluate existing regulations and policies impacting Boston's nightlife economy and culture. The Committee will also present informed findings and provide recommendations to the Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion on potential opportunities and challenges affecting the growth and vibrancy of Boston's nightlife economy.

Nite, um, night owls can apply for a seat on the committee via an online form.


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Police arrest small-fry burglars they say smashed their way into a downtown smoke shop early this morning

Boston Police report a 14-year-old from Dorchester and a 12-year-old from South Boston were busy stuffing their backpacks with merchandise inside a Tremont Street smoke shop around 1:20 this morning when officers, summoned by the alarm they triggered, arrived. Read more.

Fri, 06/09/2023 - 01:20


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Summertime and the ridin' is easy, well, free, on the Blue Line

The MBTA says you can ride the Blue Line for free between July 5 and Aug. 31 - as part of efforts to reduce traffic due to the Sumner Tunnel being shut for repairs then.

The T says you can park all day for $2 during that period at the Beachmont, Orient Heights, Suffolk Downs and Wonderland stops during that period and claims it will run trains every six minutes during rush hour, at least for that month and a half.

The T adds that it's reducing the cost of a commuter-rail trip between Salem, Swampscott and Boston to $2.40 and that the parking will be free at a number of stops on the Newburyport/Rockport line - except Salem and Swampscott, where the parking price will be $2.


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This is no joke, Central fills with smoke

The train in question. Photo by Lee Nave Jr.

An apparent electrical fire on an inbound Red Line train at Central filled the train and then the station with smoke around 9 a.m., as passengers were evacuated, Cambridge firefighters rushed down into the station and the T kept tweeting increasing delays due to what it only called "a mechanical problem."

By 10 a.m., the T was reporting delays of up to an hour and the rolling out of substitute buses between Davis and Park.

Christine Jacobson, who was on the train, reports:

Day is off to a banner start with my MBTA red line train filling up with smoke and being decommissioned at central station, which was consequently also filled with smoke.

She adds:

Everyone was safe when I exited, just lots of people covering their nose and mouths to protect from the smoke. I did not take any photos - I just got out of there fast!

Central Square Florist reports Cambridge Fire responded in force:

Firetruck outside Central Square Red Line station

State Rep. Mike Connolly reports:

Here in Central Square where there was an electrical fire on an inbound MBTA Red Line train during rush hour this morning. T staff say the fire has been put out, but “it’s smokey as hell down there.” Thank you to @CambridgeMAFire for keeping us safe.

At first, the T reported delays of just 15 minutes. Cathy MacDonald, stuck at Harvard, snorted:

The delay is actually longer than 15 mins. We’ve been sitting here at Harvard for 15+ minutes, jam packed on the car, and unable to hear the announcements from the operator.

And riders elsewhere on the Red Line reported they were delayed as well. Chris Kupa at JFK/UMass, wondered where buses were for riders like him:

We’ve been sitting at JFK for 25 minutes. Get all the busses rolling. People need to get to work out here too!

Riders getting off a substitute bus at Park Street (photo by Myron Freeman):

Riders getting off a T shuttle bus at Park

Meanwhile, back at Central, the Red Line cavalry has arrived (photo by Mike Connolly:

MBTA Red Line maintenance truck in Central Square

At 10:07 a.m., Connolly added:

The inbound side of the tracks remains closed. Additional MBTA staff are now here helping riders board shuttle buses to Park Street. I’m sorry to report this has been another morning in the ongoing transportation disaster in Massachusetts.


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Some sort of hazardous material shows up at Jamaica Plain thrift shop; three people taken to the hospital as precaution

Scene outside Boomerang's. Photo by Peter.

Boston firefighters and police responded to Boomerangs, 716 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain around 7:30 p.m. after workers came into contact with a possibly dangerous substance dropped off as a donation.

Initial reports indicated the material was radioactive, but Victoria Price reports the Boston Fire Department says "hatever was thought to be radioactive was not, completely safe."

Live Boston reports three people were taken to a local hospital for observation.

Police cordoned off the area around the store. The 39 bus was diverted from the area.


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Warehouse could be replaced by life sciences off Western Avenue in Allston

A developer will soon file detailed plans to replace a warehouse and Boston EMS ambulance garage at 287 Western Ave., behind Jessie and Katey's Art House, in Allston with a 90,000-square-foot lab building aimed at smaller start-up firms in life sciences.

In a letter of intent filed with the BPDA, King Street Properties, which specializes in building research buildings, says part of the project will include finding replacement space for Boston EMS.

The building would be surrounded by other buildings in the company's Allston Labworks life-sciences and residential complex along Western Avenue.

The company, says it expects to file a "project notification form" with more specifics within two months.

287 Western Ave. filings and meeting schedule.


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City, state, union all knew Patrick Rose was raping children, yet did nothing to stop him as he climbed to become police union president, suit charges

Two people who lived with Patrick Rose as children who say he raped them repeatedly for several years and who say they were then shunted aside by fellow cops and officials even after they kept telling their stories today sued the city of Boston, the Boston Police Department, former BPD Commissioner Paul Evans, the Boston Police Patrolman's Association, Rose's successor as union president, several BPD supervisors and the state Department of Children and Families.

In their suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, the two, identified as John Doe and Jane Doe, along with the woman's husband, identified as James Doe, allege that for more than two decades, Rose got away with raping children - many of them, including them, his own relatives and many of them in his own home in West Roxbury - as BPD decided to ignore their complaints and internal-affairs investigations and to even reinstate Rose as a cop after the police union complained. The suit also alleges that DCF's predecessor agency did nothing even after being alerted about the abuse because Rose was a cop.

The suit identifies the two victims as the children of Rose's wife, Frances; one of their allegations:

DCF and DCF Defendants failed to remove John Doe and Jane Doe from the custody of Rose.

Rose pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child rape and related offenses last year and was sentenced to 10 to 13 years in prison.

John Doe alleges Rose abused him from the time he was 8 - in 1990 - until he was 14. He charges that when he was 12, in 1993, he went to police, who arrested Rose for indecent assault and battery on a child and placed him on administrative leave. Internal Affairs concluded Rose was a child rapist, as did DCF. But then Commissioner Paul Evans did not fire Rose, in fact, he ordered him reinstated after the BPPA complained, the suit says.

For the next 23 years, Rose worked as a police officer rising through the ranks of the BPD and the union, all the while continuing to sexually abuse John Doe. Due to the complete failure of the BPD and DCF, Rose was not terminated from the police department, and avoided criminal charges, incarceration, restraining orders, therapy, and child custody restrictions. Because the BPD and DCF did nothing, Rose was emboldened and escalated his abuse against John Doe and Jane Doe and extended the abuse to additional child victims.

The lawsuit alleges that some of the interviews other officers did of the children was in front of the Rose home, sometimes with Frances Rose present. And they charge BPD continued to cover for Rose even as late as 2021, three years after he was defeated in a bid to stay union president and he retired from the force, when the charges surfaced again.

In 2021, [Paul] Evans and [Internal Affairs Superintendent in Chief Anne Marie] Doherty continued their campaign to chill John Doe and Jane Doe’s substantive and procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by falsely representing to the public that “they did a complete and thorough investigation” and that “their hands were tied.”

The suit seeks damages, to be determined at trial. More immediately, the three plaintiffs are asking a judge to attach Rose's house and other property to ensure there is at least $1 million on hand "as security for the judgement the Plaintiffs expect to recover."


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First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain sprayed with anti-gay graffiti

The graffiti. Photo by Rev. Darrell Hamilton.

Somebody went through a fair amount of red spray paint to tag the First Baptist Church on Centre Street with anti-gay graffiti overnight.

Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden says:

This dangerous, hurtful messaging is an instant reminder of the hatred within too many hearts in our city and cities across the nation. We will do everything possible to protect members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Boston and Suffolk County. But our efforts must be supported by national leaders in both parties speaking in unison against these insidious impulses in our society.


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Feds say Wakefield teen who thought he was helping ISIS through online gift-card scam was actually talking to an FBI agent; now he's under arrest

At just 16, federal officials charge, Mateo Ventura began communicating online with somebody he thought belonged to ISIS about how to help the group achieve victory - even to the point of going on a "martyrdom" mission - which could mean his death - overseas.

But yesterday, two years after Ventura, now 18, first chatted with a man who was actually an FBI agent versed in Arabic and ISIS terminology, he was arrested on a federal count of knowingly concealing the source of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

He is scheduled for arraignment this afternoon in Worcester federal court, according to the US Attorney's office. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in federal prison:

Ventura provided multiple gift cards to an individual he believed was an ISIS supporter, with the intention that the gift cards be sold on the dark web for a little less than face value and resulting profits be used to support ISIS. Ventura allegedly stated that he wanted the proceeds to go to ISIS “for war on kuffar,” (disbelievers). In total, it is alleged that between January and May 2023, Ventura donated $705 intended to support ISIS.

An affidavit by an FBI agent in the case says Ventura had extensive communications with an "FBI employee acting in an undercover capacity" in 2021 about providing financial aid to ISIS and even eventually going overseas for "hijrah" or to join their fight directly. But in September, 2022, two months before he turned 18, he wrote he could not because he "get hurt very bad in fall and can no longer walk."

FBI surveillance, however, showed Ventura could walk just fine, the affidavit states.

On Jan. 25 of this year, the affidavit continues, Ventura contacted the undercover agent again and said he wanted to go on hijrah as soon as possible.

I have lots of cash now that I want to give to Ikwah [ISIS brothers] and want to give sadaqah [donations] before leave.

OCE [the undercover agent]: Ok akhi khair [benevolent brother]. But also must be sure u no support

murtad [apostate] or munafiq [false Muslim] group. I not help if so. What group u support akhi [brother]?

VENTURA: The khilafa [the Caliphate] brother

OCE: Many lion online say they support dawla [the State]. But only from behind keyboard no willing to make sacrifice.

VENTURA: Yea I know only a very brave brother would. ...

OCE: Why u want make hijrah? U want emmigrate or want be mujahideen [Islamic fighters]?

VENTURA: Mujahideen 2 [fighter] Akhi [brother]

OCE: Alhamdulillah [praise be to God] may Allah azzawajal [the Majestic] grant you a path.

OCE: U are strong akhi [brother]? Healthy?

OCE: Life of a mujahideen [fighter] not easy.

VENTURA: Very strong healthy


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Long closed Curley center in South Boston will slowly begin to re-open next week

The Dorchester Reporter reports the Curley Community Center is scheduled to re-open for self-workouts next week, with some classes and other programming to start June 20. A major overhaul of the center, also known as the L Street Bathhouse, was delayed by pandemic-caused supply-chain problems and disputes between City Hall and contractors.


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Public drag show in Downtown Crossing on Friday

As part of Pride month, the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District and Men of Melanin Magic are hosting a free drag, dance and music show with local queer performers, on Summer Street at Washington Street, between 5 and 8 p.m. on Friday.

Doriann Blonch and Zon Legacy Phoenix will DJ; performers include Yefri, Gia D’Witches, Carmina, Blacc Brandi and dance troupe Haus of Snap. DJ Music by Begbick.

The performances will end at 7:15 p.m. so that the drag performers can mingle with attendees and be available for photos.

Free facepainting will also be available.


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The Franklin Line blows due to signal woes

MBTA Commuter rail reports:

Franklin Line passengers continue to experience severe delays in both directions due to a signal issue.


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