WhoWhatWhy.org published a news story (HERE) earlier today about a Watertown police officer who may have let Jahar escape. Reporter Joanne Potter obtained a document with a header from Watertown Police Department and the Bureau Administrative Services that narrates some of the events that transpired after the Laurel Street shootout. Included is one fun fact we’ve never heard before.
According to the document, after Jahar ran over his brother and fled from police in Dun Meng’s Mercedes SUV, Officer Jean Sarkissian attempted to chase him on foot up Spruce Street. He’s not the only one we heard about that supposedly followed, or was told to follow, the fleeing suspect. If you recall Trooper Christopher Dumont’s account in the 45th Annual Massachusetts Italian American Police Officers Association Awards Banquet, October 19th, 2013 program, you’ll remember he directed a cruiser to follow Jahar. Boston Police Gang Unit Officers Scott Pulchansing and Officer Sean McCarthy were advised by Dumont, “to pursue it [the SUV].” I don’t recall hearing anything more about it but maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll testify this week said the prosecution never.
Now here’s where it gets really interesting. The Watertown Police Department document also states that “Officer John St. Onge, who was off-duty and at home when he heard radio transmissions of the shooting, was responding to the scene from his home and in his personal car traveling Easterly on Spruce Street when his car approached the fleeing Mercedes head-on. The road was too narrow for the Mercedes to go around Officer St. Onge’s vehicle so Dzhokhar exited the Mercedes and ran on foot through residential yards.”
Yeaaaah. That just happened.
So is this legit or is WhoWhatWhy.com just throwing out some garbage?
Let’s go to the police tapes. Admittedly this is a pretty bad copy of Watertown’s police radio from that night but if anyone can find another one – from Watertown, not Boston, not Cambridge, not blah, blah, blah – let me know.
Here’s the link → Soundcloud
8:30 First mention of Spruce.
8:55 You hear them say Spruce and Lincoln, Spruce and Lincoln. Then dispatch says, “Spruce and Lincoln, pinned down. Spruce and Lincoln.”
Here’s a better recording of the “Spruce and Lincoln, pinned down” part → HERE (15:44 mark) Keep listening. An officer calls out on radio that the office was pinned down by the vehicle. I mean, what?
At around the 9:05-9:06 mark you hear dispatch say that the suspect has fled the vehicle and “in the backyards now.” Now how would they know the suspect was in the backyard? Hmm. Did St. Onge tell them? Yeah. That’s my guess.
If you go to the 11:17 – 11:19 mark, you’ll hear an officer say he’s with three officers, one is St. Onge.
At the 11:41 you hear someone call out, “Do you have units with you?” An officer replies that he has St. Onge with him along with other officers and state police.
So was Watertown officer St. Onge at the scene? He sure was. Was he one of the few Watertown officers on scene that didn’t receive an award from that night? I don’t know but it appears that way. And let’s think about why exactly St. Onge watched Jahar exit the vehicle and run away. I mean, Jahar wasn’t armed and I’m assuming St. Onge was so what’s the problem? And who was pinning him down? Just the vehicle? From what we learned from testimony today, Jahar was injured when he got out of the Mercedes. He was bleeding. He walked through the neighborhood, broke into someone’s home, used their bathroom (allegedly), hopped in a boat and the police didn’t notice this? Well, they probably didn’t notice because Franklin wasn’t part of the perimeter.
Wouldn’t you think then that St. Onge could have shown his fellow officers the correct direction in which Jahar fled? Apparently not. Nice.
If anyone’s familiar with the Madarati case, they’re familiar with St. Onge. But that’s for another day.
And why didn’t Jahar just turn left and keep going? Why stop? And if he stopped in front of an armed, off-duty police officer, why run? It was yet another opportunity for Jahar to seek the martydom that prosecutors say he craved.
More unanswered questions.
Wow. Just wow.