Public Safety

Bank robber strikes out twice, gets 100 months

Guns and masks and getaway cars are not required for a stiff sentence for bank robbery. Prosecutors told a U.S. District judge that on July 10, Scott F. Backus, 46, of Dorchester, passed a note demanding money to Citizens Bank employee in downtown Boston. When the employee didn't immediately respond, Backus backed out and walked to a second Citizen's Bank and repeated the process. Again he got cold feet and walked out, but this time he ran smack into federal agents who had just left the first bank to answer the call at the second bank.  Read more

Former Tuttle Street resident charged in January murder

After an 11-month investigation, a Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted a Dorchester man in the fatal stabbing of a young Roxbury hair stylist. Steven Odegard, 41, was charged with the first-degree murder of Daniel Yakovleff, who was found stabbed on Jan. 17 in Odegard's third floor apartment at 56 Tuttle St.  Read more

Face slasher gets decade behind bars

Dorchester's Steven Banks, 48, was sentenced last Friday to nine to 10 years in prison for slashing the face of his former girlfriend's former boyfriend. According to evidence and testimony introduced at the trial, the love triangle met on Hopkins Street, Nov. 13, 2007. When the woman introduced her former boyfriend to Banks as "one of my oldest and dearest friends," Banks said, " I don't shake hands." After a "discussion" Banks slashed the victim's face from ear to chin and took off in a motor vehicle. The knife was later found by police in Banks' possession.  Read more

Newly-minted captain takes command at C-11: Richard Sexton, 42, replaces John Greland

Superintendent Daniel Linskey, who commands the BPD's Bureau of Fields Services, is shown with Captain Richard Sexton, who was appointed to take command of Dorchester's Area C-11 last Friday. Photo by Bill Forry  Read more

Second miracle the goal

Since last spring, leaders in the world of violence-intervention from across the city have been conjuring up ideas and tactics to bring back the best aspects of the Boston Miracle, the citywide collaboration that brought the city's homicide rate crashing down from the triple digits in 1990 to 31 by 1999.  Read more

Police saluted at Medal of Honor ceremony

Six officers from District B-3 were awarded the Boston Police Department's Medal of Honor on Sunday for their actions in responding to a stand-off with a distraught man last November. Above, Captain James Claiborne congratulates Officer Claire K. Duffy on her award. Pictured, l-r, are officers Daniel P. Donahue, Garvin F. McHale, Martin D. Harrison, Duffy, Jeffrey J. Mclean and Henry J. Doherty.  Read more

They're rookies as cops, but they're veterans in life

Stacie McCarthy pins a badge on the uniform of her husband, Police Officer Denis McCarthy, as their three-year-old daughter Mia Rose McCarthy and Boston Mayor Tom Menino look on. Photo by Bill Forry

Dorchester's Denis McCarthy is a rookie cop, but he's hardly a newbie when it comes to law enforcement or the pressure-cooker of a tough beat.  Read more

High bail for two accused in Codman Sq. shooting

Two Dorchester people are being held on $1 million cash bail each for allegedly shooting a man in the head in a brazen daylight attack on Washington Street on Monday morning. Patrick Grier, 20, and a 16-year-old female accomplice were arraigned in separate courtrooms on Tuesday. Both allegedly accosted the victim, a 19-year-old man, near the corner of Lyndhurst Street and Washington just after 9 a.m. The unidentified victim was hit in the head once and twice in the leg and remains in grave condition.  Read more

Mattapan man posed as his brother in phony car crash

Raymond DeGraca, 56, entered a guilty plea in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday for reporting a false car accident with a fake identity and lying under oath, among other charges. In October 2002, DeGraca registered his car using a Rhode Island driver's license with his own picture but using his brother's information. The following year, he falsely claimed to his insurer, the Amica Mutual Insurance Company, that his vehicle was hit by another driver.  Read more

New medical command center named for Dot's Stephen Lawlor

The city of Boston dedicated a new, state-of-the-art command center for its EMS department last week. The Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center memorializes a Dorchester man who had a 27-year career with Boston EMS before he died of cancer in 2005.

Lawlor's family was on hand for the dedication of the command center, which is located at the Boston Public Health Commission's headquarters in Roxbury.  Read more