By Ron O’Clair
An 18-year-old youth by the name of Bryan Beras apparently was lying in wait for two victims of a street shooting in front of my Main South building, The Charlton, the other day …
All the while being under constant video surveillance, which was used to help secure an arrest after the fact of a double shooting. You could see in the video that the first shooting victim had walked by the van the shooter was in and was apparently called back by the shooter.
When the victim walked over to the open door of the van, he was immediately shot in the chest, whereupon the shooter ran after his walking companion in the opposite direction, firing more shots as he did.
It was quite apparent from the video images that there was some bad blood between the two victims and the shooter.
What is not seen in the videos is the damages that were caused to other people.
People not involved in the dispute between the victims and the shooter, such as the lady who is struggling to survive running the Beauty Salon at 711 Main Street. She has been informed by the owner of the building that, as a business operator, she is supposed to carry insurance to cover such damages to the property. As a consequence, she will be required to replace the plate glass window that got shot out.
This is not the first time that plate glass windows have been shot through in that location, and sad to say, probably will not be the last either.
So here is this struggling hair stylist nearly wiped out in the closings because of the corona virus, struggling to make a living who has to come up with money to pay for a window that never should have been broken in the first place.
The way I see it, this woman is as much a victim of street crime as are those who actually got shot.
Therefore, I called up the District Attorney’s Office to see if she could qualify for funds set aside for crime victims to help compensate them for being victims of street crime.
Hopefully, the D.A.’s Office can find the funds to pay for the shot-out plate glass window for this struggling small business owner who is lucky she or one of her own customers were not in the line of fire.
On top of the shot-out window, the building was vandalized with graffiti after the incident, on the front of the building and also on the Charlton Street side where they loaded the shooting victim into the car to take him to the hospital.
I don’t know if it is associates of the shooter or the victims that “tagged” the building and one of the businesses out front, but I highly doubt that it is just coincidental, coming as it did immediately in the aftermath of the news footage I released being shown on the media. Another ancillary expense that will require someone not involved in the dispute to pay out of pocket to repair the damage done to private property. As the building’s superintendent, if I fail to remove the graffiti, the City of Worcester will issue an order compelling me to remove it within 7 days or face fines and further court actions.
I am sure that young Mr. Beras will not even spend a dime on restitution having caused all of this by his selfish act of cowardice using a firearm to settle what should have been done with his fists like a real man would have. Any idiot can pull a trigger and ruin their entire life by doing so like this boy has done.
Everyone should know by now that everything is recorded 24/7/365 by video camera in this whole area of Main South because of all the previous trouble with street crime. Maybe he was not aware of the video camera coverage. It is possible, but these days, people should assume they are being filmed and act accordingly in public.
So here is this 18-year-old BOY, who most likely has a “baby momma” with at least one child of his out there somewhere. He undoubtedly has a mother and father who will miss him and his company as he spends the best days of his young life behind bars for attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm. Some more ancillary victims affected by this senseless act of rage. Committed in anger over something inconsequential in the grand scheme of life.
All in all, Worcester is very fortunate that we still have concerned and caring neighborhoods that help look out for the people that live here. We are also fortunate to have a competent police force that continually strives to become better and more reactive to the community concerns raised at neighborhood crime watch meetings held throughout the City of Worcester. I have attended many of these meetings myself (where I met the present chief) over the years of being tasked as “building superintendent” of a commercial/residential property on Main Street, and I have been an active citizen activist for change within the Worcester Police Department since 01 October 1986 when I was 25 and had valid reason to be concerned due to events that befell me at that time.
Many people don’t see it, but we have made considerable progress since that time. Help us make it even better – Attend your next scheduled community crime watch meeting and bring up your own points at it regarding your own experiences with the WPD and crime in your own neighborhoods. This is a much more effective way to make change than “protest marching.”
If you have an area that is a hot spot of illegal activity, the addition of surveillance cameras can help reduce crime in that area like it did in my own little section of Main Street. Once the criminals realize they are being observed, they will find somewhere else to be, or wind up jailed for their own actions caught on camera.
Of course, you have to be willing and able to stand up for what is right in the face of numerous threats of violence and retribution from the criminal elements that try to intimidate people. Scare you into not following through with your own civic duty. To assist the police in maintaining order in your community. It is your civic duty to call the police if you see a crime and be willing to show up in a Court of Law to prosecute the guilty who continually try to destroy our communities with illegal drugs and criminal activities of all kinds.
When the citizens/police stop helping each other, what you end up with is like what you find in places like Chicago, Illinois, where there are more and more murders being committed each year. Don’t let Worcester become another Chicago. Do your part as a citizen and help your community thrive.