Backdating this, because I forgot to write about it at the time…
This morning while riding the T to work, I was a witness to a police action on the Red Line. A man got on at Harvard, wearing a loose blue shirt and looking a little sketchy, but no more so than any of the regular drunks in the square. He sat across from me, next to a colleague of mine at the lab, and the train departed. We got perhaps a third of the way to Central when the conductor stopped and announced there was a “switching problem ahead”, and that we were going back. I looked at my friend, rolled my eyes, and prepared for a long wait.
When we got back to Harvard, I two police officers started walking up the train, one in the central aisle and one outside the car. The one outside stopped next to my friend, pointed at the man next to him through the window, and the officer inside drew his weapon and barked “show me your hands!” My friend put his Kindle down in bewilderment, the man next to him rolled his hands over, displaying a red dye on his palms. The cop said something like “easy, buddy”, turned him around roughly, and cuffed him. A man further down the car said “he put something in the cabin at the end”, and other officers got on the car and told the passengers to leave. I exited and moved several cars down, expecting that we would be on our way shortly. The conductors came on the loudspeaker again and told us that the train was being taken out of service, and to go upstairs to the inbound platform. We did, and I got to the lab only slightly later than usual, with no clear idea of what had happened.
Checking WickedLocal and the Globe, I learned that Robert Carney, 34, of Everett, was arrested on suspicion of robbing the Citizens Bank at 6 JFK St. Apparently he passed a note to the teller, she gave him a bag of money, and the dye pack exploded in his hands. I’m surprised he chose to escape via the T, when it was so easy for the police to shut it down and trap him there. But apparently he wasn’t the only guy who thought this was a good idea, as it happened again the next week.