Boston Common stabbing suspect has grim history
Mental illness, violence detailed
The homeless man accused of stabbing two Boston park rangers on Boston Common on Tuesday, critically injuring one, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has no memory of the attack, his defense lawyer said Wednesday.
"He struggles every day to know what's his reality," said Shannon Lopez, who said her client suffers from hallucinations and fears the world around him.
Bodio S. Hutchinson, 34, was ordered held on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to charges including armed assault with intent to murder.
The wounded rangers were identified as 46-year-old Albert Hurd, a 22-year veteran, and James Lunnin, 25, who joined the rangers this year. Authorities said the older ranger is in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, where his condition has been upgraded to serious. Lunnin was treated and released.
Hutchinson, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 290 pounds, has a history of bizarre and violent behavior, including unprovoked attacks on strangers and law enforcement, and episodes of savage biting, court records show. As of 2013, the records show, Hutchinson had 17 convictions — and even more arrests.
After one attack in a Newmarket Square McDonald's in February of 2013, one of Hutchinson's alleged victims asked him why he had suddenly begun punching a woman drinking a cup of coffee.
"Instead of answering me in words, he growled like a lion. Like a bear. No words at all. Just RAGGGHHHH!'' Joseph Umbro, who jumped in to help the woman, recalled Wednesday. Umbro said he was pummeled and bitten by Hutchinson. "He had this crazed, animalistic look on his face. I will never forget it.''
In another violent outburst at Nashua Street Jail in 2010, it took nine officers to restrain Hutchinson, court records show. "Throughout the altercation and its aftermath, the defendant demonstrated almost super-human strength and an indifference to pain," the documents said.
During Hutchinson's arraignment in Boston Municipal Court Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum described the events leading up to the stabbing of the park rangers. At about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the rangers went to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Common after a report of a man there with a knife. The rangers used pepper spray, but it had no effect, she said. Hutchinson allegedly lunged, stabbing each ranger about five times and severing an artery in one ranger's abdomen.
"He then sat calmly on the monument as others issued aid to one of his victims," said Feigenbaum. "He then put on his hat and started to walk away."
Police chased Hutchinson into the Public Garden, where he allegedly threw something into the pond and then turned to pursuing officers, repeating "Shoot me, shoot me," and crouching as if to attack, said Feigenbaum. Hutchinson threw himself to the ground, and officers cuffed him. Police later fished a knife with a five-inch blade with a pink handle from the pond, she said.
Lopez, arguing for $5,000 bail, said her client was raised by an alcoholic and abusive father, failed by his family, and left to fend for himself at a young age. Hutchinson stood silently at her side, dressed in a white jumpsuit and dirty socks, periodically rolling his head from side to side.
Boston Municipal Court Judge Robert McKenna ordered Hutchinson held without bail on a number of probation violations, including failing to comply with drug testing.
Hutchinson's criminal history paints a picture of a violent man grappling with mental illness as far back as 1999.
On a May morning that year, two Boston police officers said they found Hutchinson sitting in the middle of his street in Dorchester rolling a marijuana cigarette. Hutchinson told them he was "chilling" before allegedly punching them both in the face and injuring an EMT.
Police charged Hutchinson with assault, possessing marijuana, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace, but the case did not go to trial. A notation in the court record indicated that Hutchinson "may be depressed," and possibly suicidal and the case was ultimately dismissed on the condition that Hutchinson cooperate with his probation officer, take his medication, and attend therapy.
It was the first of at least three alleged attacks on Boston police officers, according to court records. In April 2004, Hutchinson was charged with assault and battery on police officers, which was later reduced to resisting arrest, putting it on track for dismissal. But he violated probation and was sent to jail for nine months, the court said.
According to court records, in March of 2006, Hutchinson stormed into his mother's apartment in Dorchester, trashed it, and microwaved metal canisters, causing sparks to fly. Aware of his mental problems, police urged him to surrender. He refused.
"Come on in and kill me, I don't want to live anymore. I'll only be leaving in a body bag. I'm not going back to any hospitals," police said he told them.
An ensuing standoff lasted more than four hours. Police shot Hutchinson twice with a bean-bag gun but it didn't subdue him.
Police called in more than a dozen new officers, including the special operations team and the K-9 unit. They turned off power to the apartment and threw in canisters of gas designed to subdue him, according to records.
Fearing he would attempt suicide, police finally entered the apartment and found him locked in the bathroom. Police said he attacked four officers, biting, kicking, and swinging a metal pipe.
After short stay in Bridgewater State Hospital, Hutchinson was found guilty of multiple assaults, and sentenced to two years in the Suffolk County House of Correction.
Hutchinson was sentenced to up to another year and a half after attacking his uncle in 2008.
By early 2010, Hutchinson was back in court for allegedly interrupting his roommate while the man was having sex, punching him repeatedly and then biting off a portion of the man's ear. Hutchinson was acquitted by a jury.
The victim declined to testify against him, according to the Suffolk District Attorney's Office.
After that arrest, Hutchinson exploded at correction officers at the Nashua Street Jail. Hutchinson punched, bit, and kicked six officers who were trying to get him under control after he refused to be stripsearched, records show.
During his trial, a defense mental health specialist argued that Hutchinson was a paranoid schizophrenic and chronic PCP and marijuana user. Hutchinson was convicted, but is appealing.
The unprovoked attack on the woman in McDonalds was in February 2013, and Hutchinson was ordered to serve 18 months behind bars. He served most of the time while awaiting trial, according to records. It is not clear when he was released.
When he was arrested this week, Hutchinson gave his most recent address as the Pine Street Inn, but a spokeswoman said he had not stayed there in months. Hutchinson had previously stayed intermittently at the Long Island shelter, according to a Boston Public Health Commission spokeswoman, but on Sept. 8 he was barred for 60 days for bringing contraband into the facility.
Boston Police spokesman Sergeant Michael McCarthy said Wednesday that the department is currently working to improve the quality of life on the Common. Arrests are up in the area since February, and a focus on drug enforcement appears to be driving down other crimes, he said.
McCarthy said that the stabbing would be reviewed to determine whether there are ways to make the rangers, who are not police officers and do not carry guns, safer.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Common was full of people enjoying the unusually warm weather.
Some said that the quiet during the day often gives way to violence at night.
Dana Montiero, 21, recounted a late-night encounter with a drunk man who hurled homophobic slurs at his group of friends, then punched him in the face.
No police or rangers were there to break up the fight, Montiero, said, adding that more rangers should patrol at night.
“I was not expecting that type of violence in a public park,” he said.