As 2008 comes to a close, the Boston Police Department are still pursuing suspects, wherever they might be. Two such investigations have focused a spotlight on those sought in attempts to give them a warm place to stay for the holidays and a lawyer to talk to for company.
One of these investigations is actually the combination of what was once several different investigations. It involves several robberies which have recently occurred in the South End and Back Bay areas, including a Starbucks on Brookline Avenue about a block from Fenway Park.
The police has now released to the public the surveillance video of the suspect. Starbucks, for its part, is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the store’s Dec. 29 robbery. To view the video, or give information you may have about the star of said video, simply follow the first link below referencing the website.
The Starbucks robbery began like a scene out of Woody Allen’s “Take The Money And Run”. Police say that around 8:20 p.m. on Monday a man slipped a Starbucks employee a note that read, “Give me the money and no one gets shot.” Thinking the note was a written coffee order, the employee read the message aloud to a second employee, who then, perhaps dumfounded, handed the robber money from the register.
The robber then grabbed the note and cash and fled on foot up Brookline Avenue toward Kenmore Square.
Boston police believe the same robber may be responsible for several other business robberies in South End and Back Bay. Those incidents happened on Dec. 18, Dec. 21, Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 in the area of Newbury Street.
In those robberies, the suspect passed a threatening note indicating he had a gun.
Apparently, these notes were understood by the recipients with no problem.
Police have now released the surveillance video of the robbery at Starbucks hoping someone from the general public will come forward with information.
You may be sure that they had already passed the information to fellow law enforcement agencies. As discussed in prior blogs, local police departments do not operate in a vacuum. Particularly today, with ever so many methods of communication, law enforcement agencies communicate, both in and out of, state.
Take for example, the tale of Dana G. of Boston (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). He is alleged to be a member of a Boston street gang who shot and killed a member of another Boston gang, the so-called “Wainwright Street” gang.
According to the police, Wainwright Street’s membership list is being greatly reduced because of such events. Since November 26th, four members have been shot to death, including one as recent as December 22nd, in Dorchester.
On December 14th, at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday outside Passion, a nightclub at 6 Portland St., South Providence, the Defendant is said to have shot and killed the alleged rival member. According to law enforcement, ” [the victim] was apparently running away from some type of confrontation and he was shot”. He was apparently shot once in the back.
Another Passion patron, and innocent bystander, London H., 36, of Malden, Mass., was wounded by a stray bullet as he stood outside a vehicle, speaking to his sister and another woman inside, according to the police. A bullet penetrated his small intestine and he was hospitalized for a time.
With the help of witnesses, the police identified the Defendant as a suspect and obtained a warrant charging him with murder. A unit consisting of the Boston police, Massachusetts state police and U.S. marshal’s office apprehended him in Somerville, outside Boston.
The Defendant has played both roles of a shooting scene. He, himself, had been a shooting victim in Boston in 2003, according to Boston.com, the Web site of The Boston Globe. As he walked from his grandmother’s house, 30 shots were fired and he was wounded in the chest.
Such is apparently “life” today in the “big city”…even when you are out of that city.
I can hear it now…
“Aw, come on, Sam! It’s New Years Eve! You’ve gotta end the year talking about robberies and murders and shootings on the way home from Grandmother’s house?”
Well, sorry about that. Maybe on Friday’s blog I can make you laugh with a “war story” or two from my own experience.
In the meantime, the reality and lessons of today’s blog are quite serious. You do not need me to lecture you about the realities of street gangs and life in the urban city. You probably also are well aware that violence from the city can spread to other areas.
The lesson from these tales, however, is important and, I guess, one of my duties to warn about. The police do not simply “write off” cases that do not get “solved” right away. They usually continue to investigate, particularly if the crime is serious and continues to pose a threat. Often the police are right as to who the perpetrator was and how it all happened. Sometimes, however, they are wrong.
Unfortunately, once the police have a theory, they often stick to it. Therefore, whether or not you are guilty of such a crime, there could still be circumstances by which the police are looking at you as a possible suspect. No, they do not do this arbitrarily, but they are, after all, human. They can make mistakes. They can be biased.
Therefore, if you have even an inkling that there could be an ongoing investigation or if you have been selected to be questioned in connection with a crime, you should engage experienced counsel to advise and represent you. Often such confusions (such as a wrong lead to the police) can be rectified. However, trying to do that yourself is dangerous and can easily change your status from “suspect” to “defendant”. You need someone on your side who will advocate for you in a meaningful way…in other words, a way that might actually work.
Running from the situation does not work. This is true even if you are running to another state to either perform a crime or hiding from suspicion. Today, that is about as helpful as staying put, closing your eyes and believing that nobody can see you.
Factually guilty or not factually guilty. Be pro-active.
Because tomorrow is New Year’s Day, I am giving you the day off from the lessons of my daily blog. I will be back on Friday, however. As indicated above, I will use the occasion to reach into my bag of “war stories” and maybe make you laugh.
Have a good and law-abiding New Years!
Samuel Goldberg is the senior criminal defense attorney at the firm of Altman & Altman, LLP. A former prosecutor in New York, he has worked as a Boston defense attorney over 18 years. 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
The full articles of this story can be found at : http://wbztv.com/local/south.end.robberies.2.897425.html and http://www.projo.com/ri/providence/content/Providence_Murder_Arrest_12-24-08_EUCO7LG_v26.3ac93f2.html