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Five teens arrested in attack on woman in Downtown Crossing

Boston police on Monday night arrested five juveniles accused of attacking a young woman in Downtown Crossing. Police say the juveniles objected to the woman’s hairstyle and attacked her, and that some of the assailants later punched, kicked, and spit on responding officers, according to a police report.

A person who called 911 at about 7 p.m. reported that a group of 10 to 15 girls were attacking two females at the intersection of Winter and Washington streets. A partially redacted police report said that when officers arrived, they noticed a group of about 20 teenagers in the area.

A woman, who the report said was born in 2002, approached officers and appeared “in distress and highly animated” with a large bump forming directly above her right eye. As police were trying to take a statement from her, a witness provided a cellphone video of the assault. The video showed about five assailants who appeared to be teenagers kicking and punching the woman numerous times, the report said.

The woman told police she’d been at the intersection of Washington and Winter when a group of teens started calling her a “white [expletive] with braids.”

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The woman told the group she identifies as Hispanic and started to walk away. She told police that that’s when one of the girls pulled her by the hair, and the others began to punch and kick her, according to the report.

The report said that as police spoke to the two women, the suspected assailants were seen up the street, yelling and causing a disturbance. That prompted the arrests of the five juveniles.

One male juvenile spit on an officer’s shoulder and later began to “violently kick” the doors of the police cruiser he was placed in, according to the report.

Another female juvenile allegedly tried to free two suspects from a cruiser and assaulted an officer who intervened, police said.

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The report also said the girl punched the officer in the face after shouting, “What you wanna do? What you wanna do?” She had also climbed on the cruiser at one point.

Another teen kicked an officer repeatedly in the shins, the report said, and one juvenile allegedly ripped an officer’s hair out of a bun, causing the officer’s glasses to fall to the ground. A youth also spit in one arresting officer’s face, the report said.

Police said the woman who sustained the large bump over her eye was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. Asked if the attack was being investigated as potentially racially motivated, a Boston police spokesman said the department’s Civil Rights Unit had been notified.

According to the report, there have been other recent incidents involving teenagers causing disturbances in the area, vandalizing storefronts, assaulting people, and fighting in public.

Prior incidents include a March 21 attack on an 81-year-old man by four juveniles at a McDonald’s on Washington Street; a bar on Bromfield Street that sustained vandalism that same day when three juveniles shattered its storefront window after being denied service due to their age; and an aggravated assault March 23 at a Tremont Street cafe involving three juveniles, according to the report.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.