BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Police say the more seriously injured of the two park rangers stabbed on Boston Common is out of surgery and improving.
Boston police Sgt. Michael McCarthy said Wednesday the 46-year-old veteran ranger stabbed Tuesday is recovering at Massachusetts General Hospital in the intensive care unit and is expected to survive.
Police have not released his name, but his family identified him to WBZ-TV as Sgt. Al Hurd, one of 12 full-time rangers on the force.
His 23-year-old colleague with less serious injuries, James Lunnin, was treated at Tufts Medical Center and released on Wednesday.
“Hi everyone sorry if I caused you to freak out but I’m doing ok I’m at the Tufts,” Lunnin said in a Facebook post. Also I would like to thank Boston EMS and my fellow Park Rangers and Boston police for their apprehension of the suspect. Also any bystanders for doing what most people wouldn’t.”
WBZ-TV has learned Lunnin is a U.S. military veteran who served in Afghanistan and just started working as a seasonal park ranger in March. Seasonal rangers work from March through November.
Officer Albert Hurd’s mother says her son will recover and go back to work. “He is doing better, we’re pleased at that,” Janis Hurd says. “He’s talking a little bit.”
She feels like his life is in danger daily because, “there are so many homeless people and people with drug problems. And our rangers are unarmed.”
But Hurd says the issue of whether or not rangers should carry guns is a complex one, and she’s unsure how she feels about it.
She also says her son excels at the public aspects of his job. “He’s very good with people and ordinarily he doesn’t have a problem. He can talk most people down. I guess this gentleman was just not the kind you could talk to.”
“He loves being a ranger,” she said. “It’s just his ideal, dream job. He will be back there the minute he can get back, the minute they let him he will be back. He loves being a mounted ranger and he loves his horses.”
Hurd is grateful to the men and women who saved her son’s life.
“The response has been immensely gratifying,” she said. “And I’d like to say thank you because you don’t always feel that the police department cares a little bit or the mayor’s office. And they have been wonderful, and I want everyone to know that.”
Bodio Hutchinson, 34, the homeless man charged in the stabbings, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of assault and battery on a public employee, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and armed assault with intent to murder.
He was ordered held on $1 million bail.
The rangers, who do not carry guns, were attacked after they approached the man about 4:30 p.m. as he sat on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the edge of the park, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.
“He lunged at both officers and stabbed them multiple times,” Evans said.
The commissioner said witnesses followed the man and provided cellphone video to police. A knife was recovered from a nearby pond.
Hutchinson has a “violent, assaultive past history,” including warrants involving drugs and assault on a police officer, Evans said.
‘LOOK AT THE MANPOWER’
Mayor Marty Walsh said rangers have patrolled the 50-acre park for years and will continue to do so. He said usually two to four rangers go on patrol and don’t encounter any problems. The mayor said officials will consider if rangers need more equipment or staffing.
“I think we have to look at the manpower and see if we need to increase it,” he said.
In addition to the Common, the rangers patrol the Emerald Necklace, Public Garden, Jamaica Pond, Franklin Park and the Back Bay Fens.
They carry badges, pepper spray and batons and are considered special officers. The rangers enforce city ordinances, such as no biking and no smoking, and they can also write tickets and make arrests.
The Common dates to 1634.
It is a popular spot with tourists and locals, and often the site of concerts, holiday celebrations, winter ice skating and other public gatherings. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II have each spoken there. Violence is rare.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong contributed to this report.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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