Cops: JP teen had a gun in local park

May 14, 2010
By

John Ruch

HYDE/JACKSON SQ.—A Jamaica Plain teen was charged with allegedly carrying a loaded pistol in Mozart Park on April 30, according to the Boston Police Department (BPD).

The arrest followed an April 13 incident where officers found ammunition in the area of Mozart Park after several people in the park ran away as officers appeared. That was the same day that a young man was shot and wounded in Egleston Square, leading to a boosted local police presence. But BPD has not reported any direct link between the gun incidents at Mozart Park and that shooting.

The April 30 incident began around 8:15 p.m., when officers from the BPD’s Youth Violence Strike Force approached a large group of people in the park at Centre and Mozart streets.

Yerri Perez, 18, of 954 Parker St. in the Bromley-Heath housing development, allegedly took a bicycle from another person and attempted to flee the park. When an officer grabbed his shirt, Perez allegedly jumped off the bike and pulled a handgun out of the waistband of his pants. The officer then pushed Perez into a fence and allegedly forced him to drop the gun.

Officers seized the handgun—a semi-automatic Walther P38 loaded with eight 9mm rounds, according to BPD.

Perez was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon; unlawful possession of a firearm and ammo; carrying a loaded firearm; and resisting arrest, according to BPD.

As officers arrested Perez, everyone else in the park ran away, with some allegedly grabbing at their waistbands—often a sign of someone carrying a firearm tucked into their pants, according to BPD. Officers chased one of those people—a 22-year-old Mattapan resident—across Centre Street and through several yards and over fences. No gun was found on that suspect, who was charged with resisting arrest and disturbing the peace.

Mozart Park has a history of gun crimes. In a 2006 incident, teachers warned by a bystander herded 18 toddlers out of the park only moments before someone fired at least eight gunshots there for unknown reasons.

Early last year, a Roslindale man was shot to death on Centre Street across from the park. A Roxbury man was charged with murder in that broad-daylight killing. In another incident last year, a Boston resident was arrested for allegedly waving a realistic-looking toy gun in the air in the park, sparking panic.

The park was the scene of one of JP’s most infamous crimes in 1991. As the mayor and police commissioner attended a rededication ceremony for the park, rival gang members started a shoot-out on the other side of Centre Street. A bystander was wounded and paralyzed by a stray bullet.