Police seek two men in Back Bay drag-racing crash
First there was screeching, then a resounding boom.
From her apartment on Beacon Street in Back Bay, Mary Pasciucco peered out from her window and saw a man run from a silver Bentley, cross the street and jump into a BMW at the corner of Exeter Street that speeded toward Storrow Drive.
Near the Bentley, Pasciucco said she could see what appeared to be the legs of a man who had been hit after the vehicle jumped the curb, crashed into a fence in front of an apartment building, and struck a tree just several feet away.
“It was horrific,” said Pasciucco, standing Sunday in front of the crash site, where yellow caution tape remained wrapped around a light pole and debris littered the base of the damaged tree. She said she called 911.
Boston police are on the hunt for at least two men involved in the Saturday hit-and-run drag-racing incident that left a 28-year-old man injured shortly before 6 p.m., police said. The man was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, police said on Sunday.
The driver of the Bentley was described by police and a witness as a 6-foot-2 tall black man with blond-tipped dreadlocks. He wore a tan shirt and possibly blue jeans. A second suspect was described only as a black man with a ponytail, said Boston police spokeswoman Officer Rachel McGuire.
Pasciucco said she saw the driver of the Bentley glance at the injured pedestrian before fleeing the scene. Several people came to the man’s aid before paramedics arrived, she said.
McGuire said two men got out of the Bentley and jumped into the white BMW they were racing. Police gave the license plate number of the BMW as 7DYB90. No arrests had been made as of Sunday night, McGuire said.
Residents said drivers often use that stretch of Beacon Street to drag race, timing green lights and creating hazardous situations for pedestrians and motorists.
“You can hear people racing at least once a week,” said Justin Barrett, 28, whose girlfriend lives on the corner of Beacon and Exeter streets. “It’s usually two to four cars. It’s wicked loud.”
Pasciucco, who walks her dog several times a day, said she will be more alert now.
“To be drag racing down a residential street . . . There are a lot of families and children in the neighborhood,” said Pasciusso, who has lived on Beacon Street for more than two decades. “I don’t know if they could police it better or what the solution is.”
Joseph Ciolino, 39, said he has filed complaints with the city’s 311 number several times about drag racers on Beacon Street.
“They come down from Arlington [Street] and . . . they don’t stop once. They jump back onto Storrow Drive,” Ciolino said. “This shouldn’t be a neighborhood where we worry about walking around.”
Many residents recalled a crash two years ago that left a couple dead on Beacon and Fairfield streets, although drag racing was not involved. A vehicle collided with another, flipped and struck Jessica Campbell, 27 and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Jack Lanzillotti.
Mohamed Alfageeh, 30, of Allston, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of probation last year for barreling through a red light and crashing into the Brookline couple in June 2014 as they crossed Beacon Street.
“Motorists should not be driving more than 30 miles per hour along Beacon Street and have to be prepared to stop for pedestrians and stop at the light,” said McGuire.
As for Saturday’s crash, McGuire said, “These guys were drag racing and that’s a blatant disregard for traffic laws.”
She urged pedestrians to be alert.
“Be aware of your surroundings look both ways,” McGuire said. “Both motorists and pedestrians need to be safe.”
Ed Ambrose, of Brookline, who often strolls down Beacon Street said Sunday he has no plans to stop.
“Half a million people and some are going to be nutty,” said Ambrose, 67. “You can’t be afraid of near everything.”