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Police Investigating Two Harvard Square Assaults

Take A Walk
People walk through John F. Kennedy Park by the Charles River in 2015.

UPDATED: September 5, 2017 at 7:46 p.m.

Police are investigating two related assaults that occurred Saturday night near John F. Kennedy Park and the Kennedy School of Government.

The first attack occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. as the victim was crossing the intersection of Eliot and Bennett Streets, according to a report sent out by the Cambridge Police Department and shared by the Harvard University Police Department around noon on Sunday. The attacker inflicted a non-life threatening injury, believed to be a stab wound. According to CPD spokesperson Jeremy Warnick, the victim was taken to the hospital and released shortly after treatment.

Roughly ten to fifteen minutes after the first attack, a restaurant employee sustained a “slash-type wound” to the lower back and a punch to the face as he was walking to JFK Park from work and was focused on his cellphone, according to the same report sent by CPD.

According to Warnick, the police believe that the primary attacker, who was reported to be with three others in this altercation, was the same individual as in the first attack. As stated in the report, the suspect has been described as a black male, roughly six feet tall with a medium build.

“There’s a theme here, in both cases, individuals were by themselves, and in both cases it seemed like they were very much unaware of their surroundings, and so people being together is important, particularly late at night,” Warnick said of the two incidents.

According to Warnick, both attacks were unprovoked, and CPD is currently working with their undercover and plainclothes officers as well as HUPD to investigate the cases. In addition, the police are reaching out to several businesses in the vicinity of the attacks, such as Charlie’s Kitchen and The Charles Hotel, to gather relevant video footage of the incident.

As noted in the report, there have not recently been any similar incidents in Cambridge. Warnick said the assaults were unusual for the Harvard Square area in particular and that the assaults didn’t follow any specific trend.

“We haven’t had any serious incidents like this, particularly back to back incidents like this, since some time, especially in that area,” Warnick said.

—Staff writer Michael E. Xie can be reached at michael.xie@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelEXie1.

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