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New England news in brief


Two violent crimes against women investigated

Police are asking the public’s help as they investigate reports of two separate violent crimes against women that occurred in the last week, the department announced Friday. One woman was walking to work in East Boston early Wednesday morning when a man attempted to kidnap her, police said in a statement. The woman told police she was near the intersection of Porter Street and Bremen Street at around 4 a.m. when a man approached her and grabbed her. The man fled after the woman managed to free herself from his grasp, the statement said. She described the man as wearing a white T-shirt, white shorts, and dark sneakers and guessed that he was between 18 and 25 years old, police said. A white SUV “may have been involved in the incident,” police said. Another woman was shot in Roxbury on July 4 by a man who fled on a bike, police said. Police responded to 340 Blue Hill Ave. in Roxbury at 1:57 p.m. after they received a call for a person shot. They found the woman suffering from a “non-life-threatening” gunshot wound, police said in a separate statement. The woman was taken to a local hospital. The suspect was seen on a bike with a patch of neon yellow near the handlebars fleeing northeast on America Legion Highway toward Blue Hill Avenue, police said. Anyone who has information about either incident is asked to call police detectives at 617-343-4275 or leave an anonymous tip at 800-494-TIPS.



Five injured in crash

Five people, including three children, were taken to the hospital after a two-vehicle crash in Halifax late Friday afternoon, a fire official said. The crash happened in front of 83 Pine St. at 4:43 p.m., Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros said. In all, seven people were involved in the crash, two of whom refused treatment, he said. The five who were injured were taken to South Shore Hospital. They are being treated for injuries not believed to be life-threatening, Viveiros said. The crash is being investigated by police, he said.



Hazmat team responds to City Hall

A hazmat team responded to City Hall Friday after an election worker opened a letter containing a white powdery substance that was later determined to be nonhazardous, city officials said. The worker opened a letter around 3 p.m., officials said, discovering a white powdery substance inside. A regional hazmat team and firefighters arrived at City Hall, located at 200 Common St., a short time later. Fire chief Brian Moriarty said the substance was determined to contain mostly sugar and was not hazardous. Firefighters cleared the scene at 5:45 p.m. All election department employees on site were medically evaluated and none showed any signs of injury, officials said. Juan Pablo Jaramillo, chief of staff to Mayor Kendrys Vasquez, said Friday evening that the situation did not pose any danger to City Hall staff.


Teens vandalize Columbus statute

Two teenagers are being charged with vandalism and malicious damage to property after they allegedly vandalized a Christopher Columbus statue. Police said that the teens pelted the statue with eggs and defaced it with blue paint. There could be more charges filed depending on the final evaluation of the damage to the statue and the repair costs. Police Chief Shawn Lacey said officers saw a group of teens on June 27 walking with a carton of eggs. The next day the station received a call from a park employee who reported the statue had been defaced. Security cameras in the park were unable to capture the incident. When the teens were arrested, they told police they were motivated by their concerns about racism in the US. A fence is to be erected around the statue in the coming weeks. City officials have moved to install more security measures after an attempt to vandalize the Columbus statue in 2020. This is one of many recent incidents regarding the vandalism of statues of historical figures across the US, including a statue of Columbus in Boston that was beheaded and another Columbus statue in Richmond that was thrown into a lake last year. A Columbus statue in Providence was defaced with red paint in 2019, and later placed in storage to avoid additional vandalism. (AP)