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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from April 23 through 29.

One arrest was reported for disorderly conduct; for details, see extra log entry for May 1, added at the end.

Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, April 23

3:37 p.m. – Accident without Injury. Three cars slowed down in tandem for crosswalk traffic at the bike path on Lake Street, but the third car, a blue Subaru operated by a 33-year-old Medford man, hit the brakes too late and rear-ended the second car, a black Toyota. The resulting crash caused moderate vehicle damage to the two vehicles, but no injuries; officers on the scene wrote the Subaru driver a citation for failure to use caution when stopping. The Toyota driver in the middle was left wondering why he had been able to avoid striking the car in front of him while the driver behind him didn’t show him the same courtesy.

Wednesday, April 24

4:58 a.m. – Neighbor Problem. An Arlington apartment dweller contacted police to tell them that she had lived in her building for two years without incident but that she was now feeling apprehensive about her upstairs and downstairs neighbors. She told officers that she had overheard these neighbors talking about her among themselves and now strongly believed that they were plotting to do her harm. After officers tried to help as they could, she agreed to receive a future visit from an APD clinician to talk over her situation.

8:41 a.m. – Accident without Injury. Improper use of a bus lane led to a Mass. Ave. collision in East Arlington that left the guilty party's vehicle against a utility pole after ramming the side of a vehicle as that vehicle’s driver, a 52-year-old man from Newton, tried to make a left turn off Lafayette Street, for which two lanes of legitimate traffic had stopped and motioned him ahead. The bus-lane interloper, a 33-year-old Groveland resident, told officers she “couldn't remember” what led up to her crashing into the vehicle turning ahead of her -- and received a marked-lane violation citation.

4:32 p.m. – Bicycle Violation. A young male bicyclist traveling east on Mass. Ave. near Robbins Road struck a pedestrian entering a crosswalk, knocking him down and injuring the man's left knee. The pedestrian refused medical treatment. The bicyclist said simply that he “didn't see him.” Officers wrote him a failure-to-yield citation carrying a fine that Capt. Richard Flynn said was probably no less than what a motor-vehicle driver would have to pay. Flynn emphasized that no matter what their vehicle, operators must bear in mind that the moment a pedestrian steps off the curb in front of approaching traffic, he or she has the right of way with respect to that traffic.

Thursday, April 25

11:47 a.m. – Accident with Injury. In another accident involving a pedestrian entering a crosswalk, a car driven by an Arlington woman was rear-ended by a second vehicle at the intersection of Dudley and Grove streets after she had stopped suddenly in response to spotting the emerging pedestrian. The second vehicle's driver received a citation for following too closely. The Arlington woman, though apparently uninjured, agreed to be taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Flynn commented that this case shows how drivers should always become more alert when approaching intersections; traffic ahead may prevent drivers from seeing hazards visible to cars further in front.

3:38 p.m. – Accident without Injury, Bicycle Hit and Run. An Arlington motorist trying to make a left turn from Mass. Ave. onto Bartlett Street was allegedly rammed into by a bicyclist traveling east on Mass. Ave., causing damage to her 2019 BMW SUV's front passenger quarter panel as well as to its hood and windshield, upon and against which the cyclist was thrown by the crash. According to the vehicle owner, within a few seconds of the impact, the bicyclist, whom she described as possibly of high school age, had rolled himself off the hood, remounted his bike and pedaled off without so much as a word to the startled owner. According to the report, the woman expressed disappointment and fury at the combination of the damage to her car and the rude treatment from the cyclist. Continued investigation is to involve searching for film of the incident as well as working with the Arlington High School resource officer for leads on possible suspects.

Friday, April 26

10:20 a.m. – Identity Fraud. A 53-year-old Cliff Street resident visited APD to tell officers about a strange occurrence having to do with her cell phone. Shortly after having gotten notice of a fraudulent $400 charge against her credit card, she received an email from her cell carrier saying that her phone had been compromised and that her account had been activated by someone in Pennsylvania. The woman worked with the carrier to cancel the old account and set up a new one, but unanswered questions remained about how someone had been able to commandeer her phone from a remote distance and perhaps thereby gain access to personal data to enable other frauds through credit cards or other means. Flynn indicated that this may be the first such instance reported to APD and was loath to speculate about underlying technical details. An internet search on “can someone take over my phone remotely" indicates that phone hijacking can happen but is rare and “would require a combination of sophisticated techniques to exploit security in the device's [operating system] or applications.” One prime vulnerability to hijacking, another search revealed, appears to be through apps containing spyware, so the standard advice is to download apps only from known, trusted sources.

6:17 p.m. – Property Damage to Intimidate. A Watermill Place resident called APD to report seeing a vehicle in the residential parking garage with scratched markings on the hood that included a swastika. She guided officers to the gray Nissan; running the plate numbers showed it to be a leased car. The security system in the garage failed to produce incriminating video; the matter remains under investigation. In addition, the APD informed human-rights authorities of the desecration.

Saturday, April 27

3:28 p.m. – Bicycle Larceny. Another in a recent series of mountain-bike thefts has been reported, this time on Fremont Street, where a resident reported that her son's black and gray mountain bike had been stolen during the night. The mother was able to provide police with camera video showing a hooded, sweatshirted man making off with the bike at 4:30 a.m., but she did not have the bike's brand or serial number on hand. Police are investigating.

8:14 p.m. – Crash with Injury. A 12-year-old boy was struck by a car and suffered a non-life-threatening leg injury after he and a friend had allegedly been riding electric scooters including swerving and cutting into lanes around the 200 block of Broadway. Police and fire personnel said they found the youth on his back against a curb, his leg injured but with no evident external bleeding. The boy's father and sister soon appeared on the scene; the father was distraught. Officers then interviewed an 85-year-old Arlington woman who had been operating the Honda that had allegedly struck the boy. The driver, who was also reportedly very upset, recounted making a right turn onto Broadway heading east when “a black figure” appeared in front of her (the boy was wearing black and dark maroon clothing). Officers determined that the driver seemed responsible, alert and undistracted (she mentioned that she had left her cell phone at home). No citations were issued pending further investigation in which detectives will be seeking camera footage. An ambulance transported the injured boy, accompanied by his father, to a local hospital.

Wednesday, May 1

8:28 p.m. – Disorderly Conduct. Police arrested a man self-described as “homeless by choice” after an incident featuring multiple rounds of loud obscenities and racist remarks, culminating in what police perceived as a threat of violence. According to the report, two officers approached the man in the vicinity of Park Avenue and Mass. Ave. after one of the officers recognized him as a “possible homeless party in several ongoing investigations.” When the officers asked him to present identification, the man reportedly became animated and started bellowing foul obscenities. Eventually the officers got the man to show an ID card showing Portland, Ore., as a prior place of residence. When things appeared to have cooled down and the man had declined offers of help for his homeless condition, the officers gave him leave to go. But as soon as he crossed Mass. Ave., the man reportedly resumed his tirade. By this time the commotion had attracted the attention of numerous bystanders. As the officers crossed the street and approached the man, he continued his abuse and allegedly “squared off his stance by separating his legs, took his hands out of his pockets and took a fighting stance.” Because the man “repeatedly displayed unreasonable and tumultuous behavior by yelling offensively coarse utterances in a manner that likely affected a substantial group in a public place, and taking a fighting stance,” the officers proceeded to cuff and arrest him on one count of disorderly conduct.


April 25, 2024: Police blotter April 16-22: Mountain bikes, electric scooters, online-purchased goods at risk of theft


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Friday, May 3, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs, original research and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.