Suspect in Esplanade attack on jogger sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for mental health evaluation

The man accused of stabbing an Allston woman on the Esplanade with a pair of scissors Friday was in a psychotic state Monday and could not be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court, according to court officials.

Luis A. Olivo, who has a history of mental health problems and assault charges according to court records, was instead sent to Bridgewater State Hospital to undergo a competency evaluation. Police say that Olivo stabbed the 23-year-old woman in the head and shoved her to the ground on a footbridge.

Witnesses and the victim, who has not been named, told police that the victim had just finished a run and was walking on the Esplanade near Dartmouth Street with her earbuds in when she was approached by Olivo, who had been “talking to anyone in the area” and attempted to speak with her.


She told him to stop, and continued onto a footbridge “when she heard someone approaching her from behind.” She turned around and saw Olivo brandishing the scissors and “saying words in an aggressive tone,” according to court records.

Witnesses told police that Olivo told the woman “that’s what you get” as he yanked on her ponytail, according to records.

According to police, Olivo, 37, fled, but a state trooper chased him and used a Taser to subdue him. He was arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder, among other charges.

The jogger thought Olivo shoved her to the ground, but couldn’t remember what had happened. She was treated in the emergency room for a head laceration and released, officials said.

Olivo, who listed a homeless shelter in Boston as his address, has been hospitalized at Bridgewater in the past, and has been accused of committing new crimes after each discharge.

In 2011, when he was a patient at the Solomon Carter Fuller mental health center, Olivo “slammed” a social worker on the head with a chair in the middle of a conversation, according to court documents.


The social worker was taken to the emergency room, and Olivo was sent to Bridgewater for examination, where he was determined to have “serious mental health issues,” according to records.

In April 2012, Olivo pleaded guilty to assault charges and was sentenced to 11 months in prison, which were deemed served because of his extensive hospitalization, records show.

Four years later, Olivo was arrested on suspicion of vandalism on a street several blocks from the Esplanade. Officers believed Olivo threw a large can of spaghetti and meatballs at a woman’s car as she drove by, breaking part of a door handle, then chased after her, according to court documents. Olivo was again hospitalized and evaluated for competency at Bridgewater.

David Holtzen, a Bridgewater psychologist, said Olivo was “mentally ill” and “in need of psychiatric treatment” after the 2016 incident, court records show. Months later, his medical status had improved and he was released from the hospital. The charges were dropped, records show.

Before Friday, Olivo’s most recent arrest was in 2018, when he allegedly masturbated on the Boston Common in front of a passing woman. He didn’t appear at the most recent hearing in that case; an arrest warrant was pending at the time of the attack on the Esplanade, according to State Police and court records.

Olivo is due back in court July 19.


Kellen Browning can be reached at kellen.browning@globe.com, or on Twitter at @kellen_browning. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.