String of violent assaults interrupts Michelle Wu’s feel-good honeymoon

A string of recent random violent assaults — including an 82-year-old man pummeled by ATV and dirt bike riders — is interrupting new Mayor Michelle Wu’s feel-good start to her administration.

Wu has said nothing so far about the shocking, brutal attack on the elderly man that started on Boylston Street and continued onto Storrow Drive last week.

But she has had time to announce the extension of outdoor dining season in Boston and sign an ordinance to divest city funds from the fossil fuel industry, making good on her “Green New Deal” for the city.

But reality gets in the way of the best-laid plans, and right now Wu needs to confront a wave of lawlessness that is putting a damper on tourism and businesses like restaurants, and show support for the victims.

So far all we’ve heard is silence.

Will she back police if they try to crack down on the ATV and dirt bike riders who are running roughshod on city streets? Or will her defund-the-police mentality get in the way?

The assault on the 82-year-old man has shocked city residents and visitors, and is at least the third recent incidence of violence in Boston that has triggered unpleasant headlines.

In South Boston late Sunday night, a 43-year-old man was knocked unconscious by three juveniles at the Andrew Square MBTA station, according to Transit Police.

“Officers ascertained the victim encountered a group of approximately 15 juveniles while passing through the busway and was set upon and violently slammed to the ground striking his head on the cement,” a statement by police said.

The victim — whose name was not released — was being treated at a local hospital for his injuries.

Three juveniles, including a 14-year-old Hyde Park youth, were taken into custody and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

And then there was the vicious attack on a Boston high school principal by one of her students earlier this month, which has left the principal with serious and potentially life-altering injuries and trauma.

In the latest Storrow Drive assault, a group of 30-40 ATV and dirt bike riders last Thursday harassed and then attacked the elderly man through his open window while he was trying to call for help. The riders smashed the man’s car windows and beat him up, then fled on their bikes. Police have not made any arrests and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the attackers.

These acts of lawlessness in Boston need to be addressed by our elected leaders, especially Wu, who just took office last week.

And politicians that continually target police need to step up and support law enforcement’s efforts to get control of the situation.

Businesses and shops that rely on visitors and tourists are rightfully afraid that more of these random assaults will inhibit people from coming into the city. That’s just as great a threat to the economy as the coronavirus.

But Wu seems oblivious to those concerns, judging by her recent actions.

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