In the aftermath of a recent sexual assault and robbery in the neighborhood, the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Safety Committee sponsored a “crime prevention” meeting Thursday that drew a standing-room crowd.
According to Captain Tom Lee of Area A-1, a young woman was walking home on Joy Street at about 3:15 a.m. on Nov. 10 when the suspect followed her and forced his way inside her apartment. The suspect then sexually assaulted the victim and stole her ATM card, which he used to withdraw money from a nearby bank machine.
The suspect is described as a black male with braided hair, 5-feet 8-inches in height and late 20s to early 30s in age, with a medium complexion. He was wearing a “do rag” type cap, a tan-colored, three-quarters-length construction type jacket, dark jeans and dark sneakers, and was believed to be carrying a large blue backpack, police said.
Lee said a task force, including officers from Area A-1, the Major Crimes Unit and the Sexual Assault Unit, had been convened to investigate the crime and was now attempting to collect footage from video cameras in the neighborhood.
“We have also increased patrols…and now have a second car working Beacon Hill,” Lee said. “We want to reassure the public we’re doing everything we can.”
Lee added this was the only sexual assault on the Hill this year. “This is a very safe neighborhood. It always has been and continues to be,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the heels of six break-ins in the previous 30 days, officers from the Anti Crime Unit arrested a 22-year-old homeless man last week as he attempted to gain entry to an Irving Street building through the roof.
Deputy Superintendent Bernie O’Rourke, who preceded Lee as captain of Area A-1, recommended taking a proactive approach to preventing break-ins.
“Police will home down to your homes and help you with target hardening,” O’Rourke said.
City Councilor Mike Ross added, “If you feel like your house doesn’t have a safe lock, we can assist.”
The evening concluded with a presentation by Mike Aziz, a self-defense instructor for the Boston Police Academy who offered tips on not falling prey to street crime.
“Trust your instincts, always have a plan and do mental rehearsals,” Aziz said “It’s all about opportunity, If you don’t want to be victimized, don’t give [criminals] the opportunity.”