Trending Topics

Officer severely bitten, two others injured during arrest of man at Boston City Hall

The man bit one of the officer’s hands, “causing severe damage and bleeding heavily with parts of skin and tissue hanging off the hand.”

By Flint McColgan, Gayla Cawley
Boston Herald

BOSTON — One Boston Police officer was severely bitten and two other officers were injured while trying to arrest a man they say was causing a scene at City Hall over a canceled meeting.

Michael Charles Williams, 51, of Bridgewater, faces two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and single counts of assault to maim, resisting arrest, and a subsequent offense of disorderly conduct following the scuffle that took place at around 9:40 a.m. Friday in City Hall.

Three police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, two of them during the arrest and the third while trying to take Williams in for booking, according to the police report. All three were taken to hospitals to at least have their injuries evaluated.

“It’s NEVER okay to hurt or harm a police officer. In fact, it’s inexcusable,” the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, the officer union, tweeted following the incident. “And the suspect who bit one of our officers earlier today at City Hall must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to send a clear message that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable.”

According to internal City Hall communications, Williams was angry because a City Council hearing he wished to attend was no longer on the schedule.

Police walked up to Williams to ask him to leave City Hall after witnesses reported that he was hurling “racial slurs toward a group of people” visiting the government building, according to the police report. Police then apparently demanded that he leave after he got argumentative.

City Council President Ruthzee Louijeune wrote in an email to her colleagues and obtained by the Herald that the “incident occurred after an individual appeared in person to attend a hearing that was no longer on the Council schedule.”

“When the individual turned aggressive, two Boston Police officers responded courageously to contain the situation,” Louijeune said, “and the person was arrested.”

The police report notes Williams seemed to at first comply with the order to leave, but then “started arguing with officers.”

Officers gave him “multiple attempts … in a respectful manner” to leave, according to the report, but he refused to do so and said, “I would rather be arrested” than leave.

As the officers moved to cuff him, Williams allegedly turned his face and bit one of the officer’s hands, “causing severe damage and bleeding heavily with parts of skin and tissue hanging off the hand.”

Police say that Williams briefly escaped but officers caught him and brought him to the ground. A second officer was allegedly injured during this tussle.

The third injury came just outside the BPD A-1 station, also known as the Government Center Station , as officers struggled to get Williams out of the wagon for booking. Police say that Williams “refused to use his legs to get out of the wagon” and that when police physically lifted him out, “he began flaring and kicking his legs” at them.

Mayor Michelle Wu expressed her thanks to law enforcement in a statement.

“I’m always grateful for the service of our Boston Police and Municipal Protective Services officers at City Hall , who everyday help ensure a welcoming environment for residents and visitors to the building for constituent services and events,” she said “But today I’m especially thankful for their quick response to protect staff and members of the public. No officer should be subjected to injury or harm for doing their job, and I wish them a quick recovery.”

Louijeune’s email states that the officers are all recovering from their injuries, “and one is even back at work.”

“We are grateful to their work to get everything under control. All other employees and staff are safe and everything returned to normal fairly quickly,” she wrote.

A City Hall source told the Herald that the canceled hearing was originally scheduled for 10 a.m. to discuss the ongoing modernization of Article 80 in the Boston Zoning Code as part of the mayor’s plans to legally restructure the Boston Planning and Development Agency , which has prompted a lot of criticism from the community for failing to adhere to her prior push to abolish the BPDA.

“People were upset that the hearing was canceled and the public was not notified,” the City Hall source said.

The hearing was set to be held by the Committee on Planning , Development and Transportation, chaired by Councilor Sharon Durkan . The meeting was canceled shortly after it was scheduled on Tuesday, per an email sent by the Council’s communications manager and a posted notice on the city website.

©2024 MediaNews Group, Inc.
Visit at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.