Woburn Man Held in South End Carjacking

BOSTON, Jan. 17, 2014—A Woburn man was ordered held today for allegedly carjacking a woman in Boston’s South End yesterday, violating the terms of his bail on an open larceny case, Suffolk county District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

JOEL CARTAGENA (D.O.B. 12/3/77) was arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court on charges of carjacking, kidnapping, assault and battery, leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury, leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and receiving stolen property. The latter charge stems from credit cards in Cartagena’s possession that had earlier been stolen from an additional victim.

At the request of Assistant District Attorney Eric G. Anderson, Judge Mark Hart Summerville set Cartagena’s bail at $50,000 and revoked his bail on a 2013 case charging larceny over $250.

Boston Police were directed to the area of West Dedham Street for a report of a car crash at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. As they were responding, the call was updated to indicate a foot pursuit involving a suspect, civilian witnesses, and an officer working a paid detail. The detail offer and one of the witnesses were able to apprehend the suspect, later identified as Cartagena.

Moments later, a 29-year-old South End woman told additional officers that she had been in her car on Waltham Street between Shawmut Avenue and Washington Street when Cartagena opened her driver’s side door, grabbed her hair, and pushed her into the passenger’s seat. Cartagena allegedly struck one vehicle as he sped away from the scene, and struck another before coming to a rest on West Dedham Street.

Cartagena allegedly ran from the car, sparking the foot chase that brought officers to the area. When apprehended, he allegedly told officers, “I was in a car accident. I got scared and ran.”

While processing the victim’s car, Boston Police discovered a Visa card belonging to a man who had been robbed in Jamaica Plain. During the booking process, a Citi MasterCard belonging to the same man was recovered from Cartagena’s clothing. Cartagena’s role in that robbery, if any, is under investigation.

Cartagena is represented by attorney Joseph Griffin. He will return to court on Feb. 11.


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