How safe is Southie? written by Maureen Dahill
Last Tuesday’s violence in South Boston was the breaking straw in a summer that has been heavy with crime and violence. Southie’s summer began with a slew of home break-ins around the City Point neighborhood. In June, Melissa Hardy was beaten to death by her boyfriend on East Fourth Street.
A few weeks later, on a Tuesday in the middle of the day, two Boston police officers were shot at while investigating a drug deal in the Maryellen McCormack Housing Development. The crack dealer was shot and brought to the hospital.
On a sunny Thursday morning, the body of a young woman was found topless and dead on M street Beach. Police caution tape marked off the crime scene as lifeguards manned their post on a beach filled with people enjoying the summer sun.
Fast forward to Tuesday, July 23rd. A woman was punched by a man on Old Colony Ave. for no reason other than she just happened to be there. Amy Lord got up early that same morning to go to the gym. As she walked down the stairs of her apartment building, she was met by a stranger who beat her up in the hallway, terrified her into getting into her car and driving to not just one ATM but five of them all before 7am. She was then driven across the city to Hyde Park where she was stabbed to death and dumped in a parkland. Her body was discovered later at 4pm. She was 24 years old.
That same Tuesday just before midnight, a young woman walked her neighborhood streets to her home on Gates Street. When she began to walk up her front stairs, she was attacked from behind and stabbed repeatedly.
A suspect was arrested and charged with the two assaults. Edwin Alemany is also considered a person of interest in the murder of Amy Lord. His address is reported to be on East Eighth Street in our neighborhood. It was revealed in a press conference with Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Alemany should have been in jail from another attack in Mission Hill. The woman managed to extract his wallet with his license in it. The ball was dropped. A detective never followed up on this and Alemany was free to walk the streets. Free to terrorize women on the streets of South Boston.
So where do we go from here? Is this the end of crime and violence in Southie for the summer? Probably not. We still live in an urban neighborhood where crime will always happen, but we can be more proactive instead of reactive. Maybe a stronger police presence is needed. It would be comforting to see officers walking the neighborhood beat as a deterrent for future crimes.
On Monday, a Public Safety Meeting with be held to discuss a plan of action. Let’s make sure we don’t repeat this summer of crime and violence. Don’t forget that a little over a year ago, in the spring of 2012, Barbara Coyne was murdered in her home at 10am on a Monday morning. And after the beefed up police presence slowly disappears, and the headlines are replaced with other news, let’s not slip off into a comfortable state of false security again.
Stay safe, Southie!