11 unprovoked attacks in Waltham, Public Safety issues warning

December 4, 2020

There have been 11 unprovoked attacks in Waltham over the past month, according to a CNN article. Director of Public Safety Edward Callahan advised students, faculty and staff remaining on campus and in the Waltham area to “exercise extra caution,” according to an email sent by Callahan on Monday.

The attacks began on Nov. 10 around the Gardencrest Apartment Complex, according to Callahan’s email, and more have followed near Chestnut Street and Charles Street. The first five attacks occurred closer to Bentley University, and the more recent attacks occurred downtown closer to Brandeis, said Waltham Detective Sergeant Steve McCarthy in a CNN interview. The attacks occurred between 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., according to the Waltham Police Department from an NBC News article

The 11 victims were all targeted with a blunt object after dark by an unknown perpetrator, according to McCarthy. One victim was hit from behind with a baseball bat to the head, according to an NBC news article. Another victim was hit with an unknown object to his eye, according to a CNN article. The Waltham Police Department believes that these attacks were committed by the same person, wrote Callahan, though the department has received varying descriptions of the attacker from different victims, according to a WCVB article. Police told WCVB that the attacker in all of these cases was waiting to catch the victim by surprise, according to the article

None of the victims have been members of the Brandeis community, according to Callahan’s email, though he issued a warning about traveling alone at night in Waltham. Callahan said to be alert while walking and to not walk alone after dark. He recommended walking with a friend or colleague when on campus or to alternatively use campus transportation that is available until 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., he advised the community to contact Public Safety for on campus transportation, and to walk with others if off campus, according to the email. 

Callahan wrote that the Waltham Police Department is doing “all it can to bring these cases to an end.” The Waltham Police Department released video footage of the perpetrator on Facebook on Nov. 28 asking for the public’s help in identifying the individual. The video footage shows the back of an individual running in jeans and a black hoodie, according to the Facebook post
The Waltham Police Department has asked that anyone who has information regarding the attacks to call the Waltham Police at 781-314-3600 and select option four, or use their anonymous tip line at 781-314-3636, according to their post.

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