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Dorchester man who shot two troopers in ’88 is arrested on new gun charges

Alonzo Dedrick was arraigned at Dorchester District Court. WBZ-TV

Alonzo Dedrick was in his mid-20s on the night of July 13, 1988, when he shot two state troopers behind a Dorchester gas station, and he served a lengthy sentence for the attack that brought one victim to tears at the trial.

Dedrick was released in 2015 but found himself back in court Tuesday, this time facing gun and drug charges stemming from a traffic stop the day before in Dorchester, when he allegedly led police on a foot chase and tossed a semiautomatic firearm during the pursuit.

A police report filed in the case said officers were looking for Dedrick after learning he had been seen carrying a gun. They spotted him Monday afternoon in the front passenger seat of a black minivan parked at a Dorchester intersection, the report said, and the van ran a red light at Columbia Road and Ceylon Street, pulling into a parking lot after cops signaled the driver to stop.

Dedrick, court filings show, exited the van and led police on a brief foot chase, allegedly tossing the handgun and ammunition, which officers later recovered. Police also seized multiple bags of crack cocaine from him, as well as an empty pill bottle with his name on it.

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Details of the pursuit of Dedrick, who lists his occupation as a dishwasher, were contained in legal filings Tuesday in Dorchester Municipal Court, where the now 55-year-old was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Dedrick’s attorney, Jeffrey Garland, said in a Tuesday e-mail his client “strongly denies possessing the firearm the police claim to have found, and looks forward to his day in court.”

Frank Cinelli, 46, the driver of the van Dedrick hopped out of, was charged with speeding and failure to stop for a police officer, authorities said. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and he was released on personal recognizance. Cinelli couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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Monday’s incident was far less violent than the 1988 episode, when Dedrick approached undercover State Police trooper Carol Harding as she sat in an unmarked car and set off a struggle that nearly claimed three lives.

According to trial testimony in that case, Dedrick took Harding’s pistol and began tugging at her purse and punching her in the face, even after she told him she was a police officer.

Harding testified that during the struggle, Dedrick forced the barrel of her gun toward her chest and attempted several times to pull the trigger. When Harding later tackled him as he fled, Dedrick stood up, she testified, aimed the gun at her while she was trying to get up, and fired two shots, wounding her in both legs.

According to testimony, Dedrick fired another three shots at Grassia, who ran up after hearing Harding’s screams. Grassia was struck by a bullet that stopped 2 inches from his heart. Dedrick was shot in the neck and Harding in the back by shots fired by Grassia.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury later convicted Dedrick of shooting both troopers and robbing Harding. But the jury cleared Dedrick of trying to kill Harding, a verdict that left the trooper shaken.

She wept outside the courtroom following Dedrick’s acquittal on the attempted murder charge and struggled to maintain her composure when she addressed the court at sentencing.

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“I am disappointed,” Harding said at the time. “Disappointed because they didn’t find he tried to kill me. I know in that car he tried to pull that trigger. I know he tried to kill me and he knows he tried to kill me.”

Dedrick was sentenced to 33 to 50 years in state prison, with parole eligibility after 22 years. He completed his term in August 2015, according to the state Department of Correction.

His arrest Monday was linked to an “ongoing firearm [and] crack cocaine distribution investigation that has spanned over the last month,” a police report said.

A detective had learned “within the [prior] 24 hours” that Dedrick was seen with a firearm, according to the report.

During the foot chase Monday, Dedrick allegedly tossed a semiautomatic firearm and two magazines loaded with a total of 33 rounds of ammunition, the filing said. Police recovered those items at the scene, as well as four plastic baggies of crack cocaine and the pill bottle from Dedrick during the arrest, records show.

He’s now charged with resisting arrest, unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm as a subsequent offense, and possession of a large capacity firearm, according to Suffolk District Attorney John Pappas’s office.

Dedrick was also charged as a Level 2 armed career criminal, prosecutors said.

His next court hearing is slated for Jan. 15.


Danny McDonald of Globe staff contributed to this report. Material from the Globe archives was used in this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@glob.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.

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