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Fifty-three people arrested in demonstrations in Boston

Boston police officers used pepper spray to maintain control of Downtown Crossing as demonstrators converged on the area on Sunday night.
Boston police officers used pepper spray to maintain control of Downtown Crossing as demonstrators converged on the area on Sunday night.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Three were charged with assault and battery on a police officer, and two were accusing of inciting a riot. Six were charged with malicious destruction of property, and 13 with larceny. One was charged with firing 10 shots at police officers.

Of the 53 people arrested in the looting and violence that broke out in downtown Boston after Sunday’s largely peaceful demonstrations against the death of George Floyd in police custody last week, most were young, with 31 of them aged 25 or under, according to Boston police. Most were men, and almost all were from the Greater Boston area.

As Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins vowed that those who participated in the unrest would be “held accountable,” arraignments were held remotely in Boston Municipal Court.

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Among the defendants were three men found inside the Lord and Taylor department store on Boylston Street shortly before midnight, prosecutors said. A plate glass window had been shattered and arriving officers found each man holding at least one gold watch with Lord and Taylor price tags still on them.

After he was taken into custody, Jason Portillo, 22, from South Boston, broke away and ran back through the shattered window but was caught by other officers who had arrived at the scene.

Portillo and Roshaun Ladoucer-Pettway, 28, of Boston, both pleaded not guilty to breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony. They remained free on the $500 cash bail they posted at the police station after being arrested.

Portillo is on probation in connection with a domestic violence charge pending in South Boston Municipal Court and could be taken into custody because of his new arrest, officials said in court. In 2017, he was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. That case was continued without a finding after he wrote a letter of apology and completed community service, according to court records.

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Ladoucer-Pettway is a registered sex offender who was convicted in 2013 of indecent assault and battery on a child over 14 and enticing a child under 16 years of age, according to the Sex Offender Registry Board.

A third man, Jose R. Figueroa Jr., 30, is also charged with breaking and entering the department store.

Around 3 a.m. Monday morning, John Boampong was driving with three passengers on Boylston Street while people were looting nearby stores, police said. All four occupants of the car became “verbally combative” when police, who were trying to disperse protesters, repeatedly told them to leave the area, according to a prosecutor. The car was reversing toward police when an officer hit the windshield with a riot stick and the car sped away, the prosecutor said.

Boampong 37, of Dorchester, rounded the block and sped by a large group of officers. The officers saw the glow of the car’s brake lights followed by a quick succession of at least 10 gunshots coming from the direction of the vehicle, a prosecutor said in court.

Boampong, who is charged with 21 counts of assault with intent to murder, was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Wednesday. But Judge Mark Summerville said the police report did not back up such serious charges.

“There’s no evidence that any shots were fired at the police,” Summerville said. "It only says they heard gunshots coming from the area where the car was. There was nothing else in the report. All that was heard were gunshots emanating from the direction of the vehicle.”

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Summerville ordered that charges be dismissed against two of the passengers: Terrell Harris, 25, and Kay Grant, 24, both of Boston. Each had been charged with receiving stolen property, but the police reports failed to report what was allegedly stolen, where it was stolen from, and where it was found in the vehicle, Summerville said.

“How do you expect me to arraign a person when there’s no stolen property?” Summerville said.

A prosecutor said that according to the police reports, “They all admitted to looting several stores in the area.”

The fourth passenger, Harris’s wife, Chana Harris, 35, who was allegedly sitting in the front passenger seat with the gun at her feet, was charged with carrying a firearm without a license.

Summerville set bail at $5,000 and scheduled a pretrial hearing for June 23.

Nine police officers were taken to local hospitals while dozens more were treated in the streets. Eighteen civilians were also taken to the hospital.

Keyshaun Taylor, 24, of Fall River, and Derelle Felix, 22, of Mattapan, were charged with vandalizing the Prudential Center during the protests. During separate telephone conferences, a prosecutor said police stopped them Sunday night as they were trying to break a store window with hammers and a screwdriver. She said they were stealing a Canada Goose jacket.

Both men were released on $500 cash bail.

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Taylor was arrested in Randolph in 2017 after allegedly pointing a handgun at people in a car and then tossing it away in a bush where it was recovered by police. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey twice charged Taylor under the same law for illegal possession of a firearm. The Supreme Judicial Court is deciding whether it is constitutional to use one law to file two charges linked to the illegal firearm. An SJC decision is expected soon.

Taylor has a 3-year-old daughter, took computer science classes at Quincy College, and was recently furloughed from his job during the pandemic, his lawyer said. Judge Paul Treseler ordered Taylor to stay out of Boston, unless he’s required to appear in court.

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Shelley Murphy can be reached at shelley.murphy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shelleymurph. Tonya Alanez can be reached at tonya.alanez@globe.com or 617-929-1579. Follow her on Twitter @talanez.