Police say that officers initially had to watch through the locked doors of a Roxbury community center as another officer struggled to contain a suspect in a gun case after they both fell down a flight of stairs - because a community-center worker refused to buzz them in.
Police say the incident started when drug-unit officers with a search warrant spotted a kid they wanted in connection with a gun case spotted him and and a pal on Estabrook Road in Roxbury yesterday. They followed them until they entered the Dewitt Community Center at 122 Dewitt Dr. off Ruggles Street.
Following behind the individuals, officers were buzzed into the community center after identifying themselves as police officers. Once inside, officers quickly asked the front desk staffer to help them in locating the two suspects. After being directed to an upstairs classroom, officers located and observed both suspects sitting in the classroom. After alerting the proctor of their intentions, the officers waited in the hallway as the suspects made their way towards them. However, as soon as the suspects exited the classroom, both attempted to flee the scene while pushing and physically assaulting the officers. While one of the suspects was subdued in the hallway, the other suspect bolted towards the stairwell leading to the first-floor exit.
As the second officer gave chase and attempted to apprehend the suspect, a physical altercation ensued causing both the officer and suspect to tumble and fall down the stairs leading to the first floor. As the officer struggled to subdue and maintain control of the suspect, the suspect repeatedly kicked the officer in the face and upper body. As the altercation spilled into the main lobby of the building, responding officers, forced to watch the altercation through the community center’s glass doors, were unable to gain entry and provide support to the struggling officer because a front desk staffer refused to let them in. Eventually, officers did gain entry and were able to help subdue the suspect. A search of the suspect’s backpack enabled officers to see and seize a loaded firearm described as a Chiappa .22 caliber Revolver.
The officers outside, who eventually got in, confronted the staffer:
When asked to explain the delay in allowing responding officers to enter the building, the front desk staffer stated that she had been reprimanded by a supervisor who took issue with her decision to allow officers inside building in the first place.
The 16-year-old was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, carrying a firearm on a public way, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, police say. His companion, 15, was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and interfering with police officers, police say.
The officer who fell down the stairs and a second officer were taken to a local hospital for treatment.