Boston police arrested two teenage boys Thursday after a melee in which officers were forced to watch through glass as one teen repeatedly kicked an officer — prevented from intervening because a community center staff member would not let them inside, according to police.
One of the boys, who is 15, was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, and the other, who is 16, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Authorities withheld the suspects’ names because of their ages.
At the boys’ arraignment Friday in Boston Juvenile Court, bail was set at $5,000 for the 15-year-old accused of attacking the officer and $25,000 for the 16-year-old who allegedly carried a gun, according to Wark.
A judge imposed the bail after revoking the boys’ previous bail on gun and robbery charges in an unrelated case, and he ordered them to stay away from each other, Wark said.
They are scheduled to be back in court Aug. 13.
On Thursday, two plainclothes officers from the citywide Drug Control Unit were on Estabrook Road in Roxbury to serve a search warrant on one of the teens in connection with “an ongoing firearm investigation,” according to a statement posted on the Boston Police Department website.
Police spotted the teens leaving a home, and officers noted that one boy “appeared to be nervous, looking around anxiously, while clutching and holding a backpack close to his body,” the statement said.
The teens walked into Dewitt Community Center on Ruggles Street, and officers pursued them inside, identifying themselves as police and getting buzzed into the building, police said.
The officers followed the boys upstairs and waited until they left a classroom, shoving the officers and trying to flee, according to the statement. An officer subdued one of the boys in the hallway while the other officer ran after the other teen, police said.
The officer and the teen struggled and fell down the stairs to the first floor, where the teen “repeatedly kicked the officer in the face and upper body,” police said.
Additional officers summoned for backup arrived at the community center as the clash spilled into the main lobby, but they could only watch through glass doors as the teen attacked their colleague, “because a front desk staffer refused to let them in,” according to the statement.
The newly arrived officers eventually got inside and helped subdue the suspect, seizing a loaded Chiappa .22-caliber pistol from the boy’s backpack, police said.
Jeanne Pinado, chief executive of the Madison Park Development Corporation, which runs the center, declined to comment on Sunday, saying she was working to craft a statement that would clarify the incident.
According to police, that worker told officers on Thursday “that she had been reprimanded by a supervisor who took issue with her decision to allow officers inside the building in the first place.”
Police said the officers explained to the staff member “that a search warrant isn’t a suggestion or topic for discussion, but rather a court order that gives police officers the authority and authorization to conduct a search of a person regardless of location.”
The Dewitt center describes itself on its website as “a welcoming home for a number of [Madison Park Development Corporation] programs for all to participate. . . . Program activities will include Youth Development and Education, Workforce Development and Employment Skills training, a technology center for old and young, after school and summer camp, youth development programs, health and wellness activities and basketball at the center’s gym.”
The center also offers “an array of arts activities with art classes, performances, exhibitions and public art,” the site says.