Civil Rights, Bomb Threat Charges for Man Accused of Anti-Muslim Bias Crime

BOSTON, June 21, 2017— A man was arraigned yesterday for allegedly violating the civil rights of a fellow passenger, falsely claiming she had a bomb, and breaking a window during a tirade on an Orange Line train, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

SEAN P. DEVLIN (D.O.B. 4/1/83), who lists an address in North Reading as well as a Boston substance-abuse treatment facility, was arraigned yesterday in Boston Municipal Court on charges of violating a person’s civil rights, making a false bomb threat, and malicious destruction of property over $250.  Assistant District Attorney David Wittenberg requested bail of $50,000, an order protecting the victim’s personal information with him, and orders that Devlin stay away from the victim, witnesses, and all MBTA conveyances in the event he is released on bail.  Judge Tracy-Lee Lyons imposed bail of $10,000 and granted all of Wittenberg’s requested orders.

“Behavior like this is inexcusable,” Conley said. “I want to commend the MBTA passengers, personnel, and others who reported and responded to it. There’s no place for hate in Boston or Suffolk County.”

Prosecutors told the court that Devlin was onboard an inbound Orange Line train Monday night when he allegedly began shouting anti-Muslim slurs at a 61-year-old woman wearing a headscarf and making false accusations about her having a bomb that would “kill us all.”  The victim and a witness both told responding Transit Police officers that Devlin hit the woman in the back with an umbrella, prosecutors said, for which he could face additional charges.

Devlin then allegedly kicked and punched a window of the train car until it shattered.

Transit Police arrested Devlin at North Station and found three small bottles of alcohol in his pockets. They also learned he had warrants for misdemeanor offenses in Woburn District Court, Somerville District Court, and Lowell District Court. 

Following Devlin’s arrest, officers and T personnel did a check of the train and found nothing unusual except the window Devlin allegedly broke. Train service was then restored.

On Monday, three New Hampshire teens were arraigned for allegedly beating a street performer while using racial epithets. A Boston Juvenile Court delinquency complaint charged them with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.  Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors are also investigating potential civil rights violations. Their next court date is on July 12.

Devlin is represented by Matthew Barrison.  He returns to court July 17.




All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.