Two Boston police officers were about to put handcuffs on 19-year-old Woobenson Morisset on a warrant for defaulting on court appearances. That’s when, police say, Morisset yelled out — and the nearby apartments emptied.
A group of six — Morisset’s 18-year-old brother and five juveniles — allegedly joined Morisset in beating and choking the two officers Monday night, Boston.com reported.
The unnamed officers, a man and woman, used pepper spray to defend themselves before backup arrived, WBZ-TV reported. The officers didn’t draw their guns.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Dana Pierce described the scene after the two officers encountered Morisset. The Boston Globe reported:
Two officers found him in a rear stairwell, where a “violent struggle ensued” when they tried to arrest him, Pierce said. One officer got elbowed in the neck, suffering vocal cord contusions and hemorrhaging, and the other, a woman, took a punch in the face, the prosecutor said, without specifying who delivered the blows.
In the process, police lost control of Woobenson Morisset and “from there on it was essentially a melee in a very narrow stairwell,” Pierce said. The seven teens, acting as a group, punched, kicked, and choked police, resulting in bumps and bruises to both officers and hand, head, and hip injuries to the female officer, she said.
Boston.com reported the injured officers were treated and released from a hospital.
Police Commissioner William Evans said the officers were “pretty banged up” and that one was fitted with a neck brace, according to the Globe.
“They’re gonna be out of work for some time,” Evans said. “It stresses the dangers of our job, every day going into situations that we never know what may happen. I’m just thankful they’re fine.”
June Jensen, Woobenson Morisset’s defense attorney, told a much different story about her client’s run-in with police.
“He turned around, and they went to put the handcuffs on him and pushed him on the stairwell. He fell on the stairwell and his face cracked open,” requiring three stitches, Jensen told the Globe. “At that point one of the officers fell down, and the whole thing kind of got crazy.”
She said her client didn’t hit anyone, but reached out to give his phone to his 18-year-old brother, Lorcen, apparently to record the incident. A 17-year-old neighbor tried to record with his own phone because he thought police were being rough, Jensen said.
“There was like five or six police,” Lorcen Morisset told WBZ outside of court. “I wasn’t doing anything.”
Police confiscated the cellphones, WBZ reported.
The juveniles allegedly involved were four Morisset girls, ages 13 to 16, and the 17-year-old neighbor, the Globe reported.
More from WBZ:
All of the suspects were arraigned on Tuesday. Bail was set at $1 for the younger teens, with that amount to be posted only by their parents, according to the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.
Judge Ernest Sarason released Lorcen Morisset and set Woobenson’s bail at $500, ordered both to wear GPS monitoring devices, abide by curfews, and stay away from the victims, District Attorney Daniel Conley said.
Courtesy of TheBlaze