Boston street worker arrested, charged with illegal gun possession

A Boston street worker, hired to steer people away from gang violence and crime, was arrested early Saturday morning after Boston police allegedly found him in a car with a prostitute, an unlicensed gun, and what appeared to be cocaine, police said.

Marcus Merritt, 35, had been hired by the Boston ­Foundation in 2009 as part of the foundation’s StreetSafe program, an ambitious, $20 million effort to target about 2,000 young criminals responsible for most of the crime in Boston.

Merritt, who had not had any problems at work before his arrest Saturday, was fired over the weekend, said Ted McEnroe, a spokesman for the Boston Foundation, a philanthropic group that funds non-profits around the city. “StreetSafe has a zero tolerance policy for any kinds of inci­dents like this,” McEnroe said.


According to a police report of Merritt’s arrest, police saw Merritt’s 1998 Chevrolet parked on Auriga Street shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday.

John Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. ­