Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

BOSTON POLICE INVESTIGATE THREE ROBBERIES OF BOSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Well, the Boston area universities, colleges and high schools have been back in order for about a month now. It did not take very long for issues regarding school campus crime and safety to arise.

Every years, Attorney Sam’s Take discusses many such crimes as they happen. After all, our kids are the future. And those folks allegedly victimizing them…are our present…as well as our future.

There have already been two incidents in which armed gunmen are said to have robbed students and a recent graduate on Brookline Streets. Both robberies took place during the daylight and involved Boston University students. There was also a third which took place on another part of campus.

The most recent of the robberies took place on Friday night. Authorizes say that three teenagers with a handgun robbed a recent college graduate at St. Paul and Thatcher streets just after 5 p.m. The three fled on foot toward Commonwealth Avenue. Police are also looking for three suspects who robbed three male BU students at gunpoint nearby on Egmont Street on September 25th, according to police and the university. The string of armed robberies began on September 23rd on Hamilton Road when two teenagers robbed two BU students, police and the university said.

In both September armed robberies, the suspects are described as black males between the ages of 16 and 20 with a handgun. Brookline police yesterday did not provide a description of the suspects in the most recent armed robbery.

Brookline Police Lt. Philip Harrington would not say whether law enforcement believes that the three robberies are related.

“We’ve released all the information we have on this and I’m not making any statements on that right now,” Harrington said yesterday.

Now comes part one of the reaction…students in fear. One BU sophomore now says that she doesn’t feel safe walking the streets bordering campus in the wake of three armed robberies within two weeks.

“I never walk alone, always lock up and keep my curtains closed, but it’s hard when it’s during the day,” she said.

BU junior Daniel Friedman, who lives on Egmont Street, the site of one of the handgun heists, said he tries to come home a little earlier now.

“I’m cautious. You can’t prevent robberies, but I can try to prevent myself from being robbed,” he said.

But another BU sophomore does not seem to be as shaken as his classmates.

He said, “I figured we were in a city and this happens all the time.”

Attorney Sam’s Take On First Campus Crimes And Extra Law Enforcement Attention

Now, I mentioned that the student fear is merely the “first part” of the reaction to such crimes. The second is, of course, what happens next on the part of law enforcement…but city and state police as well as campus police.

As one would expect, and hope, pressure is brought upon the university, as well as the city, to make sure that the students are kept safe. The down side of that is that sometimes, it makes law enforcement just a little too eager to apprehend the guilty. In other words, a rush to judgment.

You must remember that students are…usually…kids. And kids sometimes do stupid things. No, I am not referring to violent criminal acts such as robbery, but other things that could easily be considered “disorderly”. To make matters worse, sometimes such kids who catch the wrong type of attention from police demonstrate an unfortunate amount of attitude when approached by officers.

The result is a recipe for disaster. Arrests are often made from such recopies. Sometimes, someone may even be so “insulted” that they are being questioned when being in a wrong place at a suspicious time that they might say or act in a way that would suggest they are hiding something greater than a bad attitude.

Sometimes such kids can end up arrested for more serious crimes because of such suspicion…particularly when the situation is combined with anger on the part of the officers.

So, the bottom line of today’s blog has to do with this second reaction to which I refer. You do not need an experienced Boston criminal defense attorney to tell you that students feel fear when these robberies take place. You might, however, want to spread the word to those in the area, particularly kids, that they might want to be more careful in their daily or nightly activities and review with them what not to do when approached by investigating officers.

You can find those instructions in any number of these daily criminal law blogs.

In the meantime, happy Columbus Day!

For the original story upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1061165837&srvc=rss

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