Man charged with Boston Common stabbing held

AP News
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Posted: Oct 15, 2014 7:21 PM

BOSTON (AP) — The homeless man charged with stabbing two park rangers on Boston Common was held Wednesday on $1 million bail at his arraignment, where his lawyer said he struggles with mental illness.

Bodio Hutchinson, 34, was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery on a public employee, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and armed assault with intent to murder.

He was also held without bail on warrants sought by probation officers for violating the terms of suspended sentences for prior convictions.

His lawyer, Shannon Lopez, said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and does not remember Tuesday's attack. "He struggles every day to know what's his reality," she said in court.

The rangers, who do not carry guns, were attacked after they approached Hutchinson about 4:30 p.m. as he sat on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the park, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.

Prosecutor Lynn Feigenbaum said in court the rangers approached Hutchinson after getting a report he was brandishing a knife, and used pepper spray when Hutchinson pulled the weapon on them. He stabbed each about five times, then sat calmly before walking away. She said when police caught up with Hutchinson in the nearby Boston Public Garden, he shouted at them, "Shoot me! Shoot me!"

The commissioner said witnesses followed Hutchinson and provided cellphone video to police. A knife was recovered from a nearby pond.

The rangers, whose names weren't released, were improving Wednesday.

A 46-year-old veteran ranger, who was in critical condition when he was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital on Tuesday with stab wounds to the abdomen for surgery, is expected to survive, Boston police Sgt. Michael McCarthy said.

His 23-year-old colleague with less serious injuries was being discharged after treatment at Tufts Medical Center, said Ryan Woods, a spokesman for the city parks department.

The district attorney's office said Hutchison has been accused in several assaults. He was acquitted in one when the alleged victim would not testify. He is appealing 2010 convictions for assaulting jail officers while he was held before trial in that case. He was convicted last year of punching a woman and biting a man in a fast food restaurant, and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years with 18 months to serve and the rest suspended during three years of probation. He was given credit for pretrial jail time served.