The restraining arm of “Papito”

By Ron O’ Clair

[Recently] I had reason to summon the Worcester Police to come and remove six drug-addicted persons out of one of the individual rooms here in the rooming house I manage on Main Street, at the corner of Charlton and Main streets.

I did so after receiving a complaint from the tenant who is the only person authorized by management to occupy this SRO [Single Room Occupancy] unit.

He is being systematically robbed of his monthly income by these people who he will allow to enter the building, and then when they don’t go away when he tells them to, he calls me to make them leave.

Generally, I will do that myself, and most times the people will all scramble out when I tell them to go.

The only problem is, when I turn my back on them, right back they come either by disabling the front door lock mechanism or the rear security gate, and that requires me to constantly be on guard, to the detriment of the work I have to do to accomplish my mission.

I thought that here is an excellent opportunity to have some of these people brought up on charges for trespassing at the very least.

Well, can you figure what happened when the Worcester Police came in answer to my call for their assistance?

Police officers Chau & McKenna refused to charge any of them … they were just allowed to leave even after the fact that when the police were knocking on the unit door, I was stationed at the kitchen door waiting for the room window to open so they could bail out that way.

And sure enough, while they were stalling on opening the door, they started climbing out the window!

I got the attention of Officer McKenna and he came to make sure they went back in the room. Then they realized they were caught and that Officer Chau had told them to open the door because we have the key anyway, so they did.

There were six known drug addicted persons in the room, a mixture of drug users and prostitutes.

These are the same individuals who I have repeatedly told to stop trespassing and stay off the property. They simply ignore all attempts made by either the previous owner or myself to make that happen.

The Worcester Police always are quick to tell the owner and myself what we need to do to stop this behavior with their suggestions of beefing up security and many other suggestions.

But they are unwilling to do the job required of them by locking up the criminals, so that they will learn not to come back on threat of going back to jail.

I have called at least 10,000 times for police assistance over the 13 year period that I have been the responsible party for this particular piece of Real Estate here in Worcester (That can be verified by public record as statistics kept by the Worcester Police Department.)

The result? Only to have the criminals repeatedly allowed to walk away with no criminal charges, or as in the recent episode, without even having the benefit of a check for wants and warrants on those individuals – some of whom may have had warrants for their arrest on file.

After that incident, I was down in the lobby when I saw a fellow fire off seven rounds out of a semi-automatic hand gun!

Directly opposite where I was with my dangling Fujifilm 18x digital camera around my neck.

As I was attempting to start it up and film the shooter casually walking toward the getaway vehicle that was waiting with the engine running on Wellington Street the street person that was with me prevented me from doing so. Out of his fear that we would be shot as the next target when the suspect looked and saw me there with the camera poised ready to start.

If not for the intervention of “Papito” as this person is called on the street, I would have boldly gone where I have been going for the last 13 years and zoomed in on the license plate of the getaway vehicle as well as the face of the shooter.

Yea though it is very dangerous for me, it is just what I would have done if not for the restraining arm of “Papito” who was concerned for not only my safety, but his own.

I will never not stand up as a man to do the right thing and assist the local police (as inefficient as they can be) to maintain order in my community as is my duty as a citizen.

Nor will I live in fear or on my knees in subjugation to criminal minded drug dealers who think they can control the 700 block of Main Street in Worcester, city of birth.

It is not in my nature to cower in fear of retribution, and I do firmly believe that the God of my understanding has my back anyway.