BOSTON (AP) — A homeless man has been arrested Tuesday in what police say was the unprovoked stabbing of two park rangers on Boston Common, the beloved park in the heart of city.
One of the rangers, a 46-year-old sergeant, suffered life-threatening injuries and underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital; the other, a 23-year-old ranger new to the service, was in stable condition at Tufts Medical Center with less serious wounds, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. Both are expected to survive.
“He lunged at both officers and stabbed them multiple times,” Evans said of the suspect.
Evans said the two rangers, whose names were not released, were attacked after they approached the man about 4:30 p.m. as he sat on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the edge of the park. The commissioner said witnesses followed the man and provided cellphone video to police.
Bodio Hutchinson, 34, was arrested in the adjacent Boston Public Garden and will face attempted murder charges, the commissioner said. A knife police believe was used in the attack was recovered from a nearby park lagoon.
It wasn’t immediately known if Hutchinson has a lawyer. The commissioner said Hutchinson has a “violent, assaultive past history,” including warrants involving drugs and assault on a police officer. Evans had no further details on any past crimes committed by Hutchinson.
Though injured, the rangers were able to talk with emergency workers. “We are hoping he’ll pull through,” Evans said of the 20-year veteran.
Mayor Martin Walsh, who also attended the news conference, said city rangers have patrolled the 50-acre park for years and will continue to do so. He said usually two to four rangers go on patrol and don’t encounter any problems. The mayor said officials will consider if rangers need more equipment or staffing.
“I think we have to look at the manpower and see if we need to increase it,” he said.
The Common dates to 1634. It is a popular spot with tourists and locals, and often the site of concerts, holiday celebrations, winter ice skating and other public gatherings. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II have each spoken there. Violence is rare in the park but drug crimes have occurred.