MBTA Transit Officers Indicted For Beating Homeless Man Then Covering It Up

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by Nancy Shack, WBZ NewsRadio1030

BOSTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A former MBTA police officer is indicted for beating a homeless man along with two sergeants who allegedly covered up for him. Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green made the joint announcement

Dorston Bartlett of Lynn, is now charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and violating a person’s civil rights after he reportedly used his baton to strike a 32-year-old homeless man multiple times at the Ashmont MBTA station before arresting him last July as well as grabbing and pushing the victim during the booking process.

Bartlett is also charged with misleading an investigation after he allegedly gave false statements to two Boston police officers who responded to the scene.

Two other transit officers, Sgt. David Finnerty of Rutland and Sgt. Kenny Orcel of Chelmsford were indicted for making a false report and being accessories after the fact to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, after authorities claim they colluded with Bartlett to hide the incident. Both were placed on leave last year, while Bartlett retired during the course of the investigation.

The evidence presented to the Grand Jury suggests that Bartlett attempted to charge the victim with assault and battery on a police officer. In support of that charge, Finnerty allegedly drafted a report that was submitted by Bartlett and ultimately approved by Orcel. A suspicious member of the Transit Police command heard of the incident then reviewed both a draft of the report and video from surveillance cameras at the T station. Based on his observations, the victim was released and the criminal investigation launched.

In a statement D.A. Rollins said “The conduct alleged in these indictments is unacceptable at every level and the charges reflect an unprovoked armed assault by a uniformed officer on a vulnerable member of our community, followed by a joint venture with supervising officers to cover up that crime. Actions like these undermine the hard work of countless honest, professional police officers and seriously erode trust in law enforcement.”

All three officers are expected to appear for arraignment on March 27.

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