Police: Man Tried To Steal Car After Attack On Officer

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A man accused of trying to steal a Boston corrections officer's car while that officer was being attacked was arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court Friday.

Torre Jenkins, 45, is charged with breaking and entering a motor vehicle and attempted larceny of a motor vehicle. He was ordered held without bail due to a probation violation on a previous conviction, and must stay away from the scene of the crime and find housing outside of Suffolk County.

Boston Police said Jenkins was present as a large group of men attacked the corrections officer Thursday morning outside the Suffolk House of Corrections.

VIDEO: Boston Corrections Officer Beaten By Several Attackers - Thumbnail Image

VIDEO: Boston Corrections Officer Beaten By Several Attackers

The officer was driving Atkinson Street, and said he stopped to roll down his window when a man began yelling at him. The man then threw punches at the officer through the open car window.

When the officer exited the vehicle, he was then struck repeatedly with a metal pipe, and dragged to a dumpster where the blows continued.

Officers said they caught Jenkins trying to flee the scene in the officer's car; his charges are related to that alleged attempted theft, and not to the assault.

"The information I had for the purposes of arraignment indicated, and the charges reflect, that the evidence only supported charges in connection with the attempted theft of the vehicle, the resisting arrest, and the controlled substances that were found on his person during booking," Suffolk County ADA Dana Pierce said.

Both Pierce and her boss, Suffolk DA Rachel Rollins, said more charges could be added to Jenkins' docket, but weren't comfortable to discuss that at this time.

At court Friday morning, dozens of corrections personnel were at Jenkins' arraignment to show support for the injured officer.

Several of those officers laughed when Jenkins' lawyer said his client wasn't trying to steal the car—just attempting to move it, as it was blocking traffic.

The prosecution claims Jenkins only failed in making off with the car because he didn't know how to drive stick.

Prosecutors said Jenkins is a career criminal with over 70 combined convictions and probation violations in his past. At the time of his arrest, Boston Police said Jenkins had four active warrants for various drug offenses, assault and battery of a public employee, and disorderly conduct.

Jenkins' lawyer called his client "a good example of the life he never made." He said Jenkins became an alcoholic while attending Brookline High School, and that he has no cash and no family.

After the assault on the officer, Boston Police arrested 18 other people near Mass Ave-Southampton Street in what they referred to as Operation "Clean Sweep." They said the sweep was meant to address community concerns in the area sometimes referred to as "Methadone Mile."

"Some of those individuals were just arrested with warrants, meaning there were no new charges that were given," said Rollins. "Other individuals have new charges, and we're going to be keeping you informed as to what happens there."

The head of the Correction Officer's Union, Jonathan Corey, said violence in the area is nothing new.

"Hopefully, public directives such as Operation Clean Sweep are not just an anomaly but a future precedence," he said.

Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins has called for an emergency meeting with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, DA Rollins, and BPD Commissioner William Gross to address the officer's assault.

"I am calling for this meeting to happen without delay, because the situation outside of the House of Correction, within the Newmarket Square area and down Melnea Cass Boulevard has become untenable," Tompkins said in a statement. "The health and safety of our officers, staff and guests coming to the House of Correction is clearly in jeopardy, as is that of the other visitors to the area. In truth, it has been for some time."

DA Rollins said her office is taking the assault "very seriously."

"People can't get to their jobs," she said. "They're being attacked, and it's unacceptable."

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WBZ NewsRadio's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) reports

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