Boston, MA – A violent mob surrounded and attacked a group of Boston police officers as they were trying to arrest an armed felon on Tuesday evening, according to the Boston Police Department (BPD).
The incident occurred at approximately 5:40 p.m., after BPD officers assigned to the Roxbury district received a report of a suspect “carrying a fanny pack with a gun inside” in the area of Cheney Street and Maple Street, the department said in a press release.
Officers soon spotted a male walking down Cheney Street carrying a fanny pack over his left shoulder.
As they exited their patrol vehicle to speak with the man, a large crowd began gathering around them, according to the press release.
“Officers attempted to gain control of the suspect’s hands at which time the suspect immediately grabbed the officer’s wrist and began squeezing it,” the BPD said. “As officers struggled to gain control, the suspect ripped his hands away and continued to resist by clinching his arms and pushing at officers causing a Body Worn Camera to be knocked off and picked up by an unknown bystander.”
While the officers were fighting with the armed suspect, the hostile crowd “surrounded and assaulted” them, according to police.
One member of the mob “illegally opened” a nearby fire hydrant, “causing a heavy flow of water pressure onto the street directed at the officers,” police said.
Officers said they “felt an object consistent with” a gun as they continued to wrestle the suspect into handcuffs.
They later discovered he was in possession of a loaded Ruger LCR .38 SPL revolver, according to police.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) June 24, 2020
The suspect, 44-year-old Jermaine Thomas, was ultimately placed into handcuffs and escorted to a patrol vehicle.
As officers attempted to get him into the marked unit, an unidentified suspect threw buckets of water on them, according to police.
Thomas was booked into jail on charges of resisting arrest, unlawful possession of ammunition, and third or subsequent offense of unlawful possession of a firearm.
BPD Commissioner William Gross said in the press release that he was “alarmed by the level of hostility” his officers faced “while arresting a felon armed with an illegal firearm.”
“They were attacked by members of the very same community they were attempting to protect by affecting this arrest,” Commissioner Gross said. “Public safety is a shared responsibility, we need to continue to work together, not in opposition towards one another, to achieve that goal.”