SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 28, 2012

Salem man helps catch assault suspect

SALEM — A 26-year-old Salem woman was walking in downtown Boston last Thursday when she noticed a man walking behind her. She quickened her pace, and so did he.

When the woman reached the corner of High and Federal streets in the Financial District, the man shoved her from behind, causing her to fall and strike her forehead on an electrical box.

The assault was witnessed by Randy Clarke, a top security official from the MBTA who was dressed in a business suit and on his lunch break. Coincidentally, he is also from Salem.

Clarke chased the assailant for several blocks. Another witness joined in the pursuit.

Clearly a man with his wits about him, the 35-year-old Clarke gave police directions over his cellphone during the chase and, when the attacker turned to face him at one point, used his cellphone to snap a photo of the suspect.

The alleged assailant was eventually knocked to the ground by police, arrested, and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The unidentified Salem woman was treated at the scene by an ambulance crew.

Clarke was on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment, but an MBTA spokesman confirmed that he’s a proud resident of Witch City.

World news

The story about the Archdiocese of Boston deciding not to rent the former St. Mary’s school building on Hawthorne Boulevard to a group trying to open an independent Catholic school in Salem went viral.

Well, maybe it didn’t go viral, but it did get picked up by Catholic World News, an independent news organization that covers the church all over the globe.

In case you missed the story, the archdiocese didn’t state directly why it didn’t want to lease the building, but did say it has “wonderful Catholic schools in the Salem area,” serving nearly 170 Salem students, that it is committed to “strengthening and enhancing.”

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