BOSTON — Franklin Peralta and his two daughters visit Franklin Park almost every day, but they never come around after sundown.
“It’s a solitary place at night so we try to stay away from it,” he said.
Peralta, like most Boston residents, was deeply disturbed by the attack on 91-year-old civil rights pioneer Jean McGuire last month. Investigators said McGuire was walking her dog in the park on Oct. 11 when she was assaulted and stabbed multiple times. No one has been arrested. Boston Police spokesperson Sgt. Det. John Boyle said they’ve stepped up police presence near the park.
“It’s only natural we would direct more patrols to that area after something like that,” Boyle said. “It’s still an active case.”
Through an open records request, 25 Investigates obtained a list of 2,124 police calls for service in the reporting areas around Franklin Park. This includes addresses along Franklin Park Rd, Seaver St, Forest Hills St, Morton St, and Walnut Ave, among others.
Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 7, Boston Police received:
- 12 calls for assault
- 5 calls to report breaking and entering
- 146 disturbance calls, most for loud music and yelling
- 15 calls for an emotionally disturbed person with a “potential for violence”
- 5 calls for fights
- 6 calls for a person with a gun or a knife
- 16 calls for overdoses
- 1 call to report a sexual assault
- 2 calls to report shots fired
- 14 calls for an unconscious person
Boyle said a call for service is not indicative of an actual crime.
“These are not all bona fide events,” Boyle said. “I could call for anything and it doesn’t necessarily mean it happened.”
However, one man detailed another disturbing incident this week to 311, the City of Boston’s constituent reporting system.
“My wife was just threatened by a man outside the Pine Street Inn near the Shattuck in Franklin Park. She was jogging and he screamed that [he] was going to come after her and catch her,” the report said.
Many residents said they still feel safe around Franklin Park, but avoid the area after dark.
“Staying out at night is different,” Alayna Thomas said. “You just don’t know who’s going to have a weapon on them or doing anything harmful.”
Peralta said he refuses to be afraid.
“It is our park and we are not going to run away from it,” he said. “We are not going to give it up. This is like our backyard.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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