Crime in My New Town


This post is a bit of a cheat, because I didn’t do most of the writing. It comes from the newspaper of my new hometown, and it’s from the crime section.

Some things I want you to notice:

1) The titles, which give you a clue about what is to come. I particularly like “A Failure to Communicate,” which is more short story than police incident title.

2) These events are actually connected. See if you can discern how.

3) The incredibly balanced tone of “A Failure to Communicate,” which assigns little blame to the so-called “Man from Lowell.”

4) The blotter differs from that in the town in which I grew up, in which the notes are about people who are arrested for DWB (Driving While Brown), or about people who call the police to claim something has been stolen only to discover they moved it around their house.

5) The crime in my new town is quaint, just like the town itself. (Except for the fact that people got hurt. Sorry!)

A Failure to Communicate

A 49-year-old Lowell man received a citation for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and failure to wear a seatbelt after a miscommunication with the police on June 22 at 9:45 a.m.

A police officer stopped traffic on Central Avenue to make way for another police officer who was responding to a call with his lights and sirens activated. The Lowell man, who was driving a van, tried to swerve around the stopped traffic. The police officer tried to flag the Lowell man down, but he was looking at the driver of the stopped vehicle. When the Lowell man finally stopped, the officer yelled at him to roll down his window. He opened his door and, according to the officer, made some indistinguishable sounds. The officer asked if he could speak and the man shook his head. The officer commenced writing questions for the man, which he answered. The officer advised him that he had committed violations. In the course of the conversation, the man indicated that he was having abdominal pains, so police escorted him to Beth Israel Needham.

The image of the man grunting from abdominal pain, and therefore unable to speak, then writing notes back and forth with the officer who finally takes him to the hospital is the best. thing. ever.

Three Needham Police Officers Injured by Man Wielding a Barbecue Fork

By Scott Wachtler

Three Needham Police Officers were injured during a scuffle with a man who allegedly threatened to kill the officers with a barbeque fork.

Mardochee Chevalier was arrested Wednesday on four counts of Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon, including a barbecue fork, and shod foot. He was also charged with Disorderly Conduct; Resisting Arrest; Threats to Commit a Crime and Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at approximately 9:32 a.m., a Needham Police Officer was monitoring traffic on Great Plain Ave in front of the Needham town common when he was approached by a motorist who told him that the operator of another vehicle had exited his vehicle, leaving it abandoned in the travel lane, then running towards the hardware store on the corner.

The officer observed an individual, later identified as Chevalier, holding a steel rake over his head, about to strike the window of a stopped passenger car on Chestnut Street.

Chevalier allegedly saw the officer and dropped the rake while approaching him. He handed the officer an ID, and then pulled a large barbeque fork out of his back pocket, moving towards the officer while holding the fork in a threatening manner above his head.

The officer was able to get Chevalier to drop the weapon after repeated orders. Another officer arrived and during attempts to arrest Chevalier, he allegedly resisted by kicking the officers with his heavy work boots.  Other officers arrived to assist in handcuffing Chevalier, and eventually they were able to do so, but he continued to actively resist attempts to restrain him by allegedly kicking, punching, and spitting at the officers.

Three officers sustained injuries at the scene during the efforts to restrain Chevalier and they were treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Needham Medical Center.

Note that Chevalier was not charged with robbery or larceny, indicating that he PAID for the rake and barbecue fork which he used to attack the car and assault the officers. You should also know that he has a history of wacky weapon crime: a machete in Worcester, and a folding knife at a barbecue in Framingham (perhaps that was when he got the idea to commit his next crime by barbecue fork).

I know it’s actual legal language, but I also love the “shod foot” reference.

I don’t love that officers were injured, so I’m not mocking that. And I’m not mocking Chevalier either. Mostly because I’m afraid he’ll come after me with a pogo stick or something.

Hooray, suburban living!


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