Northampton man identified as person killed in apparent Charlestown assault

Boston police are investigating the death of a Northampton man who suffered traumatic injuries during an assault in the Charlestown neighborhood early Thursday morning.

According to police, officers were called to 75 Alford St. around 3:41 a.m. to investigate reports of an assault taking place.

Arriving officers found a man suffering from “undetermined traumatic injuries,’’ police wrote.

The man, identified as Joshua Eric Rivera, 54, of Northampton, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Rivera’s death is under investigation by the department’s homicide unit.

Later in the morning, cleanup crews scrubbed down a park bench in Ryan Playground, where police found Rivera’s body.


Norman Brennan was chasing around his 19-month-old grandson, Carlos, in a nearby jungle gym.

“It happened in the night, so I’m not worried,” he said. “There’s cars going by and people out and about now.”

The park, which features several junior athletic fields, is known to be a place where transient people wander at night, several passersby said.

Amanda Bright, 36, and Stacey Quinn, 42, who rerouted their mid-morning walk to go by the crime scene, said the city has cleared out a homeless encampment across the street several times, but the people always come back.

Quinn said she wondered whether the victim lived there, saying it was “kinda weird to walk by it now.”

Police asked anyone with information to call detectives at 617-343-4470 or to send an anonymous tip by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word “TIP” to CRIME (27463).

The Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team is also available for support by calling (617) 431-0125 or by visiting BPHC.org/trauma. The phone line is monitored 24 hours a day, police said.

John R. Ellement and Danny McDonald of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Jerome Campbell can be reached at jerome.campbell@globe.com or @jeromercampbell.