BOSTON, June 9, 2014— A Dorchester man was arraigned Friday after an investigation by MBTA Transit Police led to his arrest for allegedly pulling a knife on a woman pushing a baby stroller, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
ROGER HINES (D.O.B. 2/5/85) was arraigned Friday in the Boston Municipal Court on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. Judge Eleanor Sinnott granted Assistant District Attorney Jessica Erickson’s requests for $15,000 cash bail and a GPS monitor in the event that Hines posts that amount.
According to prosecutors, Transit Police officers responded to Downtown Crossing station at about 7:00 p.m. on May 7 for a report of an attempted robbery. The victim, who was pushing her child in a stroller, told officers that a man approached her as she waited for an elevator inside the station and asked if he could take the elevator along with the mother and child. When the elevator arrived, the man entered ahead of her, crouched down, and began to reach into his sock. The woman became suspicious of the man’s behavior and attempted to leave the area as the man drew what appeared to be a long, thin knife from his sock, prosecutors said.
The man then fled the station.
Transit Police detectives obtained footage from MBTA public safety cameras that show the suspect in the station around the time of the incident. They also isolated him in footage from JFK/UMass station on prior dates. The footage from those dates depicted him carrying what appeared to be a shopping bag from a supermarket. Knowing that Star Market had a branch location close to JFK/UMass, they interviewed employees at that store and others in the area in an attempt to identify the suspect.
None of the store employees were able to identify the suspect by name, but several of them were familiar with him as a frequent customer known as “Coach” who lived in a nearby housing development. After consulting with other law enforcement agencies, including Boston Police detectives, Transit Police were able to identify the suspect as Hines and matched photographs of him to the public safety camera footage from Downtown Crossing on the evening of the incident.
“This is another case in which the MBTA’s public safety cameras were instrumental in identifying an assailant,” Conley said. “Footage like this is like a witness with perfect recall and offers powerful evidence for judges and juries. But as powerful as they are in helping to solve crimes, cameras are no substitute for the sort of shoe-leather detective work we saw here.
Transit Police detectives spotted and arrested Hines near JFK/UMass station late Friday morning. During a post-Miranda interview with police, he allegedly identified himself from the camera footage but denied pulling knife on the victim at Downtown Crossing station.
Hines was represented by attorney Arnold Cohen. He will return to court July 2.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.