Reporter's Notebook: Wrong street, wrong house for this night-time stroller

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Apr. 9, 2014

Bad luck or dumb criminal? Maybe a little bit of both.

Police say a Dorchester man was caught with stolen goods on Tuttle Street at around 2:20 a.m. on April 2, a few feet away from Mayor Marty Walsh’s house. He apparently did not notice – until it was too late – the marked police cruiser that sits outside Walsh’s home around the clock as part of the mayor’s security detail.

Walsh, who was asleep at the time, was informed of the incident later that morning when he spoke on the phone with Police Commissioner William Evans, who calls the mayor every morning with a rundown of incidents from the night before. Walsh called the alleged suspect “not too smart, probably the worst criminal around.”

“I think it was 2:30 in the morning, I was sleeping,” Walsh told the Reporter this week. “So he was right outside the window. But yeah, he won’t do that again.”

Chuckling, the mayor added, “I mean, I don’t know how you don’t see the police car.”

The incident drew laughter at this month’s meeting of the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association when Boston Police Officer Mike Keaney read portions of the police report out loud to the crowd.

The suspect’s name is Samuel Livingston Decosta, according to the police report later obtained by the Reporter, which noted the following:

The officer assigned to Walsh’s home that night observed a black male with a winter hat walking down Tuttle Street toward Savin Hill. When he saw the man turn and walk up the driveway between 12 Tuttle Street and 14 Tuttle Street, the officer got out of his car and approached the driveway, walking past a coat on the ground behind a parked Lexus SUV. Before entering Mayor Walsh’s backyard, the officer requested back-up, and then he spotted the man hiding behind a small potted tree.

Concerned that the suspect was armed, the officer drew his firearm, ordering the suspect to show his hands. “Don’t arrest me,” the suspect said, before telling the officer that he was being followed and that he had been looking for a 24-hour store.

A back-up officer arrived a few moments later and stayed with the suspect while the first officer looked up the suspect’s background information, which showed multiple convictions. The second officer saw a brown coat under the UV with multiple wires sticking out of the pocket. Inside were two phone chargers, a video camera, and $5.40 in change.

“Due to the area being known for breaking and entering, the time of night” and the way the man was acting, the officers handcuffed the suspect and read him his rights. He was arraigned the same day by the district attorney’s office on charges of trespassing and receiving stolen property. He will return to court on May 1 for a pre-trial hearing.

April 16 for Hunt swearing-in
Dan Hunt, who won the April 1 special election to replace Marty Walsh in the Massachusetts House, will be sworn in on April 16 at the State House. The ceremony is expected to start around 1:45 p.m. Seats in the gallery will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. A reception will follow. The 13th Suffolk House seat runs from Savin Hill to the Neponset Circle area, and includes a precinct in Quincy.

Hunt, who bested four other Democrats in a primary on March 4, will be the newest member of the Dorchester delegation, but only temporarily; he won’t have to wait long to get some seniority. Evandro Carvalho, a Fields Corner attorney with Cape Verdean roots, is expected to win the April 29 general election in the Fifth Suffolk District, since there aren’t any Republicans on the ballot.

He won an April 1 primary against four other Democrats for the nomination to replace ousted state Rep. Carlos Henriquez. His swearing-in will likely take place in early May.

The new legislators will have little time on Beacon Hill during their first months in office; they will be joining their fellow lawmakers in wrapping up work for the summer before the Legislature adjourns and its members focus on the fall elections.

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