Two Arrested in Brookline Stabbing of BU Postdoc
Cameras help police nab alleged assailants
Brookline Police have arrested two suspects in the robbery and assault of a BU researcher Tuesday night just five blocks from the Charles River Campus. Wallace Vick, 19, of Gaylord Street in Dorchester and Shaqone Cazeau, 20, of Lindsey Street in Boston are charged with armed robbery, armed assault with intent to murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon. Brookline Police say both are being held on bail and will likely be arraigned tomorrow in Brookline District Court.
Vick and Cazeau allegedly assaulted a 38-year-old postdoctoral fellow from the BU Medical Campus at 8:32 p.m. at Pleasant and Browne Streets in Brookline. The researcher was thrown to the ground, stabbed, and robbed of a laptop, a cell phone, and an iPad. He was treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for two superficial stab wounds and released.
Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary says cameras played a key role in the arrests, as did help from an eyewitness who told police the direction the suspects had fled. He says officers reviewed footage from private security cameras in the neighborhood the suspects escaped through. The first big break in the case came Wednesday morning, O’Leary says, when the victim told Brookline Police that charges for an MBTA CharlieCard had been placed on his credit card. Transit Police determined the charges had been made at the Jackson Square T station on the Orange Line. After reviewing security cameras there and locating footage of the two men they believed to be the suspects, Brookline Police contacted Boston school police and probation officers, who made an initial identification. O’Leary says police staked out the suspects’ homes Thursday afternoon and arrested the two men when they left.
Police recovered a knife from the scene of the crime, according to O’Leary, who says that additional evidence had been found by BU students in a nearby alley between Edgemont and Thatcher Streets. He says police were searching the suspects’ homes Thursday night and were hoping to find additional evidence to be presented at Friday’s arraignment.
“Students shouldn’t be walking in fear,” says O’Leary. “But they shouldn’t walk around oblivious to their surroundings either.”
Boston University Police Chief Thomas Robbins says it was great to see the investigation resolved so quickly. “The police work is paying off, and we are going to keep up the intensity,” says Robbins. “I’m glad to see Brookline put this together so fast and take two criminals off the streets.”
The robbery, one of at least eight assaults since September on or near the Charles River Campus, had heightened concerns about safety that have been growing for months. On Wednesday, President Robert A. Brown issued a letter to the BU community expressing his deep concern about the assaults and declaring that the University had “significantly bolstered” BU Police patrols in the area. A BU Today story about the incident drew more than 100 comments from readers, many complaining of the failure of police efforts to stem the violence, despite increased patrols and four arrests.
In October, Brookline Police arrested three suspects in connection with two of four armed robberies. Those arrests came in the immediate wake of a $10,000 reward offered by BU for information leading to the arrest and conviction of one or more of the perpetrators. Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary has said the role of the reward in the arrests was unclear, but that the arrests were influenced by a video of the three suspects that was posted on BU Today and other news outlets. All three suspects now in custody appear in the video, which was recorded by a surveillance camera on October 5.
On January 23, Brookline Police arrested Evan Holmes of Quincy, Mass., in connection with the robbery of a BU student and two companions just after midnight the previous Saturday. Holmes, who was held on $25,000 bail, pleaded not guilty to three counts of armed robbery in Brookline District Court. Brookline Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of his alleged accomplice, Tyler J. Mauritson, also of Quincy. Mauritson is described as a 27-year-old white male, 6’2”, about 195 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Boston and BU Police are still investigating the two other robberies that occurred the same weekend.33 Comments