The Boston Redevelopment Authority Monday captured a major fortified citadel that had been occupied by North Harvard urban renewal opponents but only after last-ditch resistance erupted into a bitter melee in which 12 people were arrested for trespassing.
The trouble came when sheriff's deputies attempted to make their way through about 20 people blocking the entrance to the home of an about-to-be evicted tenant.
Almost before the dust had settled, those arrested were on their way to receive a tongue-lashing and hear their bail set as high as $2000 by Judge Charles J. Artesani.
Evicted were James Wheelis '64, his wife, and their eight-month-old son Eric. Arrested with $2000 bond were Stevan B. Goldin '64-4; his brother David, 17, of Green Point, N.Y.; Marion A. Gillon, 19, 4 Hefferan St.; John L. Scott, 32, of Roxbury; Herbert R. Brazao, 41, of Watertown; and James F. Canny, of Dorchester.
Freed on $50 bond were Albert A. Redgate, 55, of 162 North Harvard St.; his wife Marjorie; Lloyd Moyer, 23, of 4 Hefferan St.; and Edward A. Fourt, 22, of 155 Western Ave.
Yesterday, BRA administrator Edward Logue said that there would be no more evictions this week at the North Harvard site.
Logue said that "cooperation has improved considerably. All pending evictions have been settled or are about to be settled peacefully." There are 11 eviction notices pending. "We are helping those people who have been evicted to find public housing and some have found their own," he added.
"The hard core of irresponsibility has been thinned out," Logue continued. "However there is some left."
Four families who had not been given eviction notices have already moved out this week. The BRA wants to evict about ten more families as soon as possible but will take no action until after the next BRA meeting, Aug. 19.
Barricaded in her home at 17 Hefferan St. is Mrs. Mary Casey, 48, a widow, who says she has been paying rent to her mother, Mrs. Eunice Hollum, 70, also a widow, at 152 North Harvard St. Mrs. Casey has boarded up the front and rear doors of her home and is being supplied with food by friends who pass it through the windows.
Although she has refused to speak with BRA representatives, officials said that they are conferring with other members of the family in an effort to settle the matter.
Several hours before Monday's arrests, bulldozers moved into the project and within ten minutes had razed a house on Smith Street. Tension built up throughout the muggy morning. Police had to tow Brass's car, which had been placed across Hefferan as a barricade.
Then a moving van moved back to the Wheelis house, and deputy sheriffs ordered the people sitting in on the porch in front of the entrance to move. They refused and sang "God Bless America." Finally, deputies attempted to climb on the porch, and when resistance continue, the police moved in