An 18-year-old Brockton man and a 16 year-old Dorchester teen were arrested Sunday night after they allegedly flashed a loaded 9 millimeter handgun and waved a knife during a dispute on the street hockey court at Garvey Park in Neponset. Police were called to the city-owned Neponset Avenue park around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. According to a police report, two victims at the park reported that an assailant in a hooded sweatshirt had pulled the gun on a group of young people before fleeing the park. No one was injured in the incident.
Boston Police say that Ryen Reese, 18, was arrested -- along with the unidentified juvenile -- inside a single-family house at 380 Neponset Ave. at 10:51 p.m. The Smith & Wesson gun, which a police report indicates was found on Reese's person, was loaded with 14 rounds. Witnesses at the scene, however, told police that it was the 16 year-old who had pulled the gun on them, according to police reports. Reese is alleged to have threatened the group with a knife, which was recovered at the home where the pair were arrested by Boston Police.
Reese was arraigned on Monday in Dorchester District Court on nine charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm. The juvenile was charged with the same counts, plus an additional charge of possession of a class D substance, believed to be marijuana.
Erica Gully-Santiago, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, says that bail for both Reese and the 16 year-old was set at $25,000 each. Reese is due back in court on Sept. 8.
State Police Trooper Brian Dunn, who regularly patrols the state-owned parking lot next to Garvey Park, says that reports of gun-wielding teens at both Garvey and Toohig Park on Gallivan Boulevard have been a new phenomenon this summer.
"Since July we had been getting reports at Toohig of people with guns almost once a week," Dunn said. "No one ever actually showed one, but people intimated that they had them. It was only a matter of time that one did show up there."
Dunn, who has spoken out loudly in recent years about the increased perils of hanging out in Neponset parks after hours, says that the same group of kids continue to trespass and cause disturbances on his watch, despite repeated warnings and even arrests.
"Whether Toohig or Garvey, we're dealing with the same group of kids and they still aren't getting it," Dunn says. "In past incidents at both parks we've had baseball bats and knives and no one ever called the police. At least someone in this instance had the common sense to call police."
Phil Carver, president of the Pope's Hill Neighborhood Association, called the incident "extremely disturbing" and said that the civic association would plan a meeting with elected officials to discuss concerns about safety at the park. In addition to police enforcement, Carver said that local teens need safer, better options for places to spend their free time.
"This part of Dorchester needs to address our crime issues," Carver said. "It is the perfect storm right now. There's no place for any of the kids to go. Whether it's a black-white thing or a my park-your park thing, it's a problem.
"The police need to increase their presence. That's what needs to be done. There are drug issues going on down the Garvey. Then, the community needs to step up to the plate. It needs to be a multi-pronged approach."