BPD in the Community: Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit Holds Event to Educate and Combat Sex Trafficking

Changing Norms & Attitudes to Prevent the Harm Caused by Commercial Sexual Exploitation - No Buyers, No Harm

Over 100 participants attended the event, which took place on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. at MassHousing, 1 Beacon Street, 4th Floor, Bill White Board Room. The City of Boston, Boston Police Department and Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement; MassHousing, Demand Abolition, the Imago Dei Fund and The Eva Center convened an event titled Understanding Commercial Sexual Exploitation Through the Lens of Gender Inequity

The presentation highlighted the City of Boston’s evolving approach to combatting the harms associated with commercial sexual exploitation, and to educate as to the connection between prostitution, sex trafficking, gender inequity and gender-based violence.  

"This truly is an issue of gender equity. The vast majority of people involved in this kind of exploitation are female. They are often forced into this work by their partners or others, and fear retribution. They don’t see another option—or a way out of it."-Mayor Martin J. Walsh

The City of Boston is committed to preventing and reducing the harm associated with commercial sexual exploitation through a three-pronged strategy;

  • Community outreach, education and mobilization to change norms so that Bostonians no longer consider buying sex a normal act, but instead harmful to all involved - the victim, the buyer and the community.

  • Promotion of Men’s Accountability: Male buyers are driving this crime. Given that, male accountability is a key strategy of the City of Boston’s approach, and will manifest in the form of legal and financial sanctions, alongside a broader targeted deterrence and education effort; and

  • The creation of victim-centered responses with comprehensive trauma informed services for those attempting to exit the life, and for those active in the life.  

The City of Boston is moving toward this approach through its CEASE Boston Initiative. CEASE stands for Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation and Boston is one of twelve U.S. jurisdictions that have been working since 2015 to end commercial sexual exploitation.  “The Boston Police Department has played a lead role in CEASE Boston efforts since 2015.” says Commissioner Gross, “Through this collaborative work, the need for all sectors and partners to join us in our efforts to reduce demand for paid sex is evident. It is time for us as a city to recognize prostituted persons as vulnerable human beings who need compassion, support and services - not arrest and marginalization”. 

Officers Arrest Male in Downtown Boston for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm After Breaking Into a Motor Vehicle

 

At about 8:51 PM on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, Officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) responded to a radio call for a person with a gun in the area of 181 North Washington Street, Boston. 

Upon arrival, officers met with a witness who had observed the suspect, later identified as Michael O’Leary, 34, of Somerville, trying to open several car door handles and rummaging through one of the unattended motor vehicles.  While attempting to pull the male out of vehicle the witness observed a brown firearm in a black holster fall out of the suspects jacket pocket.  

Officers located a brown firearm in a black holster on top of the snow a few feet away. The inside of the motor vehicle was in disarray, with various items scattered throughout the front seat while the middle armrest compartment was completely left open. Officers retrieved a loaded magazine and three rounds of ammunition from within the motor vehicle. 

Michael O’Leary was arrested and charged with the following: Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle, Nighttime, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

 O’Leary will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court.

BPD Officers Arrest Store Clerk for Unlawful Sale of Marijuana Cigarettes and Edibles in South Boston

BPD Officers Arrest Store Clerk for Unlawful Sale of Marijuana Cigarettes and Edibles in South Boston: Acting on several community complaints and concerns relative to the unlawful sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles out of the King Smoke Shop at 600 East Broadway Street in South Boston, detectives assigned to District C-6 (South Boston) with help from both the District C-6 (South Boston) and District A-1 (Downtown) Drug Control Units initiated an investigation to better understand the facts and circumstances fueling the concerns. As a result of the investigation, which included undercover purchases of marijuana inside the store, officers were able to accumulate sufficient evidence and cause to charge two employees of the establishment with the unlawful sale of marijuana. On today’s date, Monday, February 11, 2019, an officer working in an undercover capacity entered the establishment and purchased several marijuana cigarettes.

In light of the illegal purchases, investigators arrested Saqib Imran, 38, of Brockton and charged him with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class D Drug (Marijuana). Additionally, officers charged the owner of the store, Tanveer Shah, 61, of Bellingham with Possession with Intent to Distribute both a Class D Drug (Marijuana) and a Class C Drug (THC). Soon after the arrests, a search warrant was obtained in order to properly quantify and catalogue the store’s illegal marijuana inventory. During the search, officers were able to locate and confiscate multiple marijuana cigarettes and marijuana-infused edibles and candies.

 Specifically, officers recovered the following:

  • Over 60 bags of edible Marijuana candies

  • 67 vials of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

  • 26 Moon Rock Marijuana candy containers

  • 95 Marijuana cigarettes

  • Over $1,000 in US Currency

Both individuals are scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, February, 12, 2019 in South Boston District Court.

Daily Dose of Great Police Work: Officers Arrest One for Assault by Means of a Dangerous Weapon Downtown

 

Daily Dose of Great Police Work: At about 12:06 AM on Sunday, February 10, 2019, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) responded to a radio call for a person with a knife in the area of 177 State Street (7-Eleven) in Boston. On arrival, officers spoke to the victim who stated he was working at the above location when he observed a male attempting to steal food from the store. The victim stated he confronted the male who became aggressive and began pushing one of the staff members. The victim stated the suspect then pulled a knife out and began threatening the staff with the knife, before leaving the store with merchandise he did not pay for. Officers were provided with a description of the suspect and searched the area initially to no avail. At approximately 2:00 AM, officers responded to the area of 85 Causeway Street for a male causing a disturbance. On arrival, officers observed the male who matched the previous description of the suspect from the earlier assault at 177 State Street. The suspect was identified and taken into custody. Officers retrieved a knife from the suspect’s pocket. 

Officers arrested Kyle Lincoln, 26-years-old, of Dorchester. Lincoln will appear in Boston Municipal Court on charges of Assault by means of a Dangerous Weapon, Assault and Battery, and Shoplifting by Concealing Merchandise. 

 

Making Hearts Smile: BPD Gentle Giant Helps Elderly Woman Safely Navigate Way Through Huge Crowds at Patriots Parade

Photo Credit: Caitlyn Almeida

Photo Credit: Caitlyn Almeida

COMMUNITY POLICING AT ITS BEST: With an estimated 1.5 million, heavily enthusiastic and highly energized Pats fans fanning out and flooding the streets of Boston to celebrate the New England Patriots Super Bowl Championship, it most assuredly seemed all but impossible to safely navigate one’s way through the historically large crowd. In light of the aforementioned, a large-hearted Boston Police Officer observed an elderly woman in need of assistance and made a championship move while taking her by the hand in order to patiently and safely guide the 95-year-old woman across the street. “We’re Still Here!” 

Officers Arrest One for Malicious Destruction of Property Following Super Bowl LIII Celebrations

The men and women of the Boston Police Department would like to thank all who celebrated The New England Patriots sixth Super Bowl victory. As revelers took to the streets to share in their excitement, the BPD is proud to announce that only one arrest has been made during the celebrations. Officers arrested Vincent Bredice, 21-years-old, of Los Angeles, CA. Bredice was taken into custody at approximately 11:30 PM on Sunday, February 3, 2019 in the area of Tremont Street and Avery Street after officers observed the suspect climbing a tree in Boston Common. The suspect was advised multiple times to climb down off of the tree, but the suspect gave officers the middle finger before continuing his ascent up the tree. The suspect kicked multiple branches off of the tree while drinking an alcoholic beverage. The suspect eventually was removed from the tree and taken into custody. Bredice will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court where he faces charges of Malicious Destruction of Property, Disturbing the Peace, and Drinking in Public.

BPD in the Community: The Boston Bruins 3rd Annual BFit First Responder Challenge Held at TD Garden

On Sunday, January 28, 2019, Commissioner Gross, along with members of the Boston Police Department, and other first responder agencies gathered at the TD Garden for the 3rd annual Boston Bruins BFit First Responder Challenge.  Police, Firefighters and EMT’s took part in a rigorous course of stair climbs and laps around the TD Garden to raise money for the 100 Club of Massachusetts which provides assistance to the surviving families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line-of-duty. After the event, “Blades the Bruin” was on hand to take a few pictures and greet the participants.

 

UPDATE: Additional Male Seen in Surveillance Video Cleared by Detectives as part of the Olivia Ambrose Investigation  

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Detectives have identified and subsequently cleared the additional male seen in surveillance video on Congress Street, Downtown, as it relates to the Olivia Ambrose investigation. The male turned himself in to detectives and at this point in the investigation is considered a witness. 

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact District A-1 (Downtown) Detectives at (617) 343-4248. 

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner. 

 

UPDATE: Victor Pena, 38, of Boston has been charged with Kidnapping in connection to the disappearance of Olivia Ambrose

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UPDATE: Victor Pena, 38, of Boston has been arrested and charged with Kidnapping in connection to the disappearance of 23-year-old Olivia Ambrose who was located earlier today. Pena is scheduled to be arraigned in Charlestown District Court tomorrow, Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

INVESTIGATION UPDATE: The Boston Police Release Images of Person of Interest in Relation to Missing Person Olivia Ambrose

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UPDATE: The Boston Police Department is seeking the public’s help to identify the male in the photos above in connection to the investigation into missing person Olivia Ambrose who was last seen in the area of 25 Union Street in Downtown Boston on Saturday, January 19, 2019. Investigators have reviewed surveillance video and marked a timeline of events and locations in the areas of both Downtown Boston and Charlestown in hopes of better understanding the facts and circumstances surrounding Olivia Ambrose’s disappearance. 

  •  11:04 PM: Ms. Ambrose is seen leaving a bar located at 25 Union Street (Hennessy’s) with a white male who has since been determined to not be involved in her disappearance.

  •  11:42 PM: Approximately 40 minutes later, two unknown males are observed inviting Ms. Ambrose to walk with them in the area of Congress Street and State Street. One of the males appears to walk ahead while the second male (shown in the photos above) places his arm around Ms. Ambrose and directs her towards the State Street MBTA Station.

  •  12:01 AM: Approximately 20 minutes later, additional video shows Ms. Ambrose being accompanied by that same male, still with his arm around her, exiting the Bunker Hill Community MBTA Station in Charlestown. The other male party is no longer observed in any surveillance video moving forward.

  •  12:13 AM: Approximately 10 minutes later, Ms. Ambrose and the unknown male are observed again in the area of Green Street walking together towards Bartlett Street. A short time later, phone records indicate Ms. Ambrose’s phone was in the general area of the Bunker Hill Housing Development.

Olivia Ambrose is described as a 23-year-old white female, about 5’2” tall, with blue eyes and curly brown hair. She was last seen wearing a red corduroy dress under a long white and grey coat.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Olivia Ambrose is advised to contact 9-1-1 or District A-1 (Downtown) Detectives at (617) 343-4248.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

 

Missing Person Alert Issued for 23-year-old Olivia Ambrose

MISSING PERSON ALERT: The Boston Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in efforts to locate a missing person, Olivia Ambrose, who was last seen in the area of 25 Union Street, Hennessy’s Bar, in downtown Boston at about 10:00pm on Saturday, January 19, 2019. Olivia Ambrose is described as a 23-year-old white female, about 5’2” tall with blue eyes and curly brown hair. She was last seen wearing a red corduroy dress under a long white and grey coat.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Olivia Ambrose is asked and advised to contact 911 or District A-1 (Downtown) Detectives at (617) 343-4248.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

BPD Remembers the Service and Sacrifice of Officer Cornelius F. Regan and Detective James J. Troy

Although many years have passed, the weight of their sacrifice has never grown lighter. As you go about your business today, we kindly ask you to offer a prayer for our fallen brothers Cornelius and James and for all those left behind in the wake of their losses so many years ago.

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BPD Remembers Patrolman Cornelius F. Regan who died 121 years ago today

Patrolman Cornelius Regan passed away on Thursday January 13, 1898, after developing an illness as a result of rescuing a drowning man from the Charles River while on duty early on Christmas morning.

Patrolman Regan was on patrol on the Boston side of the old Charlestown Bridge on North Washington Street at 2:15 AM when he heard a cry for help. Rushing to the bridge, he observed a man struggling in the water twenty feet below. Patrolman Regan made his way to the victim and brought him to safety despite getting soaked in the ice-cold water. The saved man would go on to make a full recovery.

Patrolman Regan had served the City of Boston for more than 17 years and was 36 years old at the time of his passing. He was survived by his wife and five children. Patrolman Regan was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery, in Malden, MA.

After careful research in 2016, his name was added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial, Panel 55, East Line 27 as well as the Hero Wall at BPD Headquarters and the Law Enforcement Memorial at the State House.

A hero sign has been placed on the North Washington Street Bridge in Downtown Boston (District A-1).

Detective Jame Troy

Detective Jame Troy

 BPD Remembers Detective James J. Troy who was killed in the line of duty 89 years ago today

Detective James Troy was shot and killed in the South End by a suspect while trying to arrest him on a warrant for Breaking and Entering. The suspect was arrested and later convicted.

Detective Troy was 30 years of age at the time of his death and left behind a wife and 4 children. Detective Troy is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden, MA.

His name is located on the National Law Enforcement Memorial, Panel 10, East Line 8, as well as the Hero Wall at BPD Headquarters and the Law Enforcement Memorial at the State House.

A hero sign has been placed at Dillworth street in the South End (District D-4).

 

UPDATE: Suspect Wanted in Connection to New Year’s Eve Armed Robbery in the Public Gardens Arrested in Lynn

UPDATE: At about 3:20 PM on Thursday, January, 10, 2019, members of the Boston Police Fugitive Unit conducted a warrant arrest in the area of 580 Essex Street in Lynn. Officers arrested Joshua Enos, 21-years-old, of Lynn. Enos was wanted on a warrant out of Boston Municipal Court for charges of Armed Robbery, Armed Kidnapping with Serious Bodily Injury and Assault and Battery by means of a Dangerous Weapon. 

The facts of the original incident are as follows: At about 10:00 PM on Monday, December 31, 2018, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) responded to a radio call for an armed robbery. On arrival, officers spoke to the victims who stated they were walking through the Public Gardens when they were approached by three unknown males. The males demanded the victims' money before stabbing one of the victims. The victims eventually handed over their property to the suspects. At this time, the suspects grabbed the male who had been stabbed and forced him to withdraw an undisclosed amount of US Currency from an ATM in the area. The suspects fled the area on foot. The victim was treated at a local hospital for a non-life-threatening stab wound.

 

BPD Seeks Public’s Help in Effort to Identify Suspect Wanted for Stabbing and Armed Robbery Downtown 

The BPD is releasing images (see photos) of an individual wanted in connection to a stabbing and armed robbery incident which took place Downtown in hopes of identifying the person seen in the photos. The facts and circumstances are as follows: At about 10:00 PM on Monday, December 31, 2018, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) responded to a radio call for an armed robbery. On arrival, officers spoke to the victims who stated they were walking through the Public Gardens when they were approached by three unknown males. The males demanded the victims' money before stabbing one of the victims. The victims eventually handed over their property to the suspects. At this time, the suspects grabbed the male who had been stabbed and forced him to withdraw an undisclosed amount of US Currency from an ATM in the area. The suspects fled the area on foot. The victim was treated at a local hospital for a non-life-threatening stab wound.

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact District A-1 Detectives at (617) 343-4248.

Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

 

BPD Officers Recover Loaded Firearm After Placing Suspect in Custody on Drug Related Charges in Downtown Boston

At about 6:18 PM on Monday December 31, 2018, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) observed a motor vehicle idling in front of a fire hydrant in the area of Harrison Avenue and Oxford Place. The officers conducted a query of the vehicle registration which revealed an invalid inspection sticker.

As the officers approached, they observed the operator, later identified as Mandell Johnson, 26 of Newton, quickly grab a shopping bag to cover his lap. While illuminating the interior of the vehicle with their flashlights, officers made several observations of drug paraphernalia throughout the interior that included empty baggies, several small plastic baggies containing a green vegetable matter believed to marijuana that were knotted and packaged in a manner consistent with the sale of narcotics.

Johnson was placed under arrest for Possession with intent to Distribute, Class D, Drugs, and Possession of Class B, Drugs.

Officers continued their investigation and recovered a loaded .22 caliber ATI German Sport Gun 1911 firearm from inside the glove box. As a result, the suspect will also be charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. The suspect will be face arraignment in Boston Municipal Court.

 

BPD Investigation Leads to Arrest After Stabbing in Chinatown

 

At about 8:46 PM on Saturday December 29, 2018, an officer assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) located a male victim in his late twenties suffering from apparent stab wounds in the area of 660 Washington Street in Chinatown. The victim was initially uncooperative and refused medical attention but later presented himself at a nearby hospital. Medical staff confirmed that he had sustained several non-life-threatening stab wounds and admitted him for treatment.

Officers conducted an investigation, establishing and processing a crime scene in the area of Harrison Avenue and Essex Street. Following the evidence, officers identified the suspect wanted in connection to the incident as Valenz Joisil, 24, of Lynn. At about 5:45 AM on Sunday December 30, 2018, officers located and arrested the suspect at an area hospital where he had sought treatment for a minor laceration sustained during the incident. While placing the suspect in custody, officers performed a pat frisk and recovered a knife from inside the suspect’s coat which was seized as evidence and has been turned in for processing.

The suspect will appear in Boston Municipal Court on charges of Attempted Murder and Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon.

 

BPD in the Community The Salvation Army Gets a Celebrity Bell Ringer in Downtown Crossing

BPD in the Community: This weekend, Commissioner William Gross surprised residents and tourists alike as a celebrity bell ringer for the Salvation Army. The commissioner took up his post in Downtown Crossing, sharing cheerful tidings for the Holiday Season while greeting all who passed with an easy smile, a firm handshake or even one of his signature hugs.

 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Female Victim’s Phone Stolen After Stopping to Take a Picture for a Tourist in Downtown Boston

 

At about 5:30 PM on Saturday December 22, 2018, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) arrested two 16-year-old males from Dorchester after responding to a call for an unarmed robbery in the area of 55 State Street in Boston. On arrival, officers spoke with the female victim who stated that she had stopped to assist a tourist with a photograph when two unidentified male suspects quietly approached from behind and took her cellphone out of her jacket pocket while she was distracted. The two suspects then fled the area on foot. Responding officers soon located and stopped two individuals matching the given suspect description standing on the train platform inside the State Street MBTA Station. One of the males was holding the victim’s cell phone in his hand at the time of the stop. The two were placed in custody without incident after being positively identified by the victim. The two suspects will appear in Boston Juvenile Court on charges of Delinquent to Wit: Unarmed Robbery.

 

Two Suspects in Custody After BPD Officers Approached by Kidnapping Victim in the Boston Common

 

At about 10:01 AM on Tuesday December 19, 2018, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) were on patrol in the Boston Common when they were approached by a male who stated he had been kidnapped. The victim did not have a jacket on and was not wearing any shoes. The victim explained that he had left a lounge in the Theater District at about 2:00 AM in when he befriended a male and female, later identified as Damian Gray, 41, of Boston and Danisha Johnson, 43, of Boston and agreed to go back to their apartment. After some time had passed, the male and female began talking about crack cocaine, causing the victim to feel uncomfortable. When the victim attempted to leave, the male suspect grabbed him by his shirt collar and threatened him with a knife. The suspect then demanded the victim transfer an undisclosed amount money from his back account via an electronic money order. When the male suspect left to go to a nearby convenience store to retrieve the transferred money, the victim, now alone with the unarmed female suspect, seized the opportunity to flee the apartment.

District A-1 Detectives launched an investigation and soon identified and located the two suspects who were placed in custody without incident. Both suspects will appear in Boston Municipal Court on charges of Kidnapping and Armed Robbery (to wit: Knife).

 

Three Juveniles Under Arrest for Assault and Battery, Unarmed Robbery Following Violent Attack on Jeweler Downtown

 

THREE IN CUSTODY: At about 10:05 AM on Monday, December 17, 2018, officers assigned to District A-1 (Downtown) responded to a radio call for a robbery in the area of 44 School Street in Downtown Boston. On arrival, officers were directed to a group of black males and females who matched the description of the suspects who had allegedly robbed and assaulted an employee at the jewelry store. Upon seeing officers, the group fled the area on foot, but were again located in the area. While the group was being detained, officers spoke to the victim who stated the group had congregated in the doorway of the jewelry store and began to ring the bell relentlessly. The victim stated she had asked the group to leave multiple times, which they refused. The victim stated she opened the door in a final attempt to get the group to leave. The victim stated the group began taunting and threatening to assault the victim. The victim stated the group began to swarm her within the doorway so she defended herself and attempted to push them away with her legs. At this time, one of the female suspects violently attacked the victim and began punching and kicking her while the group cheered the suspect on. The fight spilled into the jewelry store where the suspects ripped the victim’s gold necklace off of her before fleeing the area on foot.

Officers arrested a 14-year-old juvenile female of Boston, a 14-year-old juvenile female of Roxbury and a 15-year-old juvenile male of Hyde Park. All are expected to be arraigned in the Juvenile Division of Boston Municipal Court on charges of Assault and Battery on a Victim Over the age of 60 and Unarmed Robbery. Three additional suspects were identified and released from the scene.