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The call went out: pedestrian down: Just after 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, a car making a left turn onto Water Street from Mass. Ave. in Arlington Center struck and injured a female pedestrian in the crosswalk.

The driver, a 72-year-old Arlington resident, stated to police that he hadn't seen anyone crossing and that he was going no more than 5 miles per hour. The woman, also from Arlington, after asking for help getting to her feet, told officers that she hadn't seen any vehicle coming her way before being hit. The responding officers issued the driver a citation for crosswalk violation, judging him clearly at fault because the woman had obviously made entry into the crosswalk. The woman's identity age and medical condition have not been released.

Capt. Richard Flynn, spokesman for the Arlington Police Department, emphasizes that the moment a pedestrian steps off a curb into a crosswalk, the approaching driver becomes the responsible party -- and that all Arlingtonians should take this matter very seriously. He said that all drivers must assume that anyone on a curb at a crossing may suddenly step into a crosswalk -- and that, for their part, pedestrians should not assume that their first step off the curb will be immediately registered by the driver of a vehicle turning their way.

This was the second vehicle/pedestrian crosswalk collision in the second half of this month.

The following account is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from Nov. 21 through 28, 2023.

No arrests were reported.

Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, Nov. 21

8:20 a.m. – Disturbance. A Bow Street woman summoned police because her grown son would not leave her house despite her repeated demands and entreaties. When police arrived, they found that the son had left the premises with bags; another load of his belongings stood heaped on the front porch. The mother expressed relief that the son indeed appeared to be in the process of moving out. The officers were able to mark the incident closed on that basis.

10:44 a.m. – Town Bylaw Violation. A Thompson School area resident called police to report someone metal detecting and digging holes at North Union Park, the large field adjoining the school. By the time police arrived to investigate, the alleged prospector was gone. No report-worthy fresh holes in the turf were noticed or found.

5:11 p.m. – Animal Complaint. A Broadway resident called police to report an opossum sighting in the backyard. Police arrived; a search failed to turn up the marsupial. The caller cited no specific complaints against the opossum as having done anything wrong.

Wednesday, Nov. 22

7:47 a.m. – Disturbance. The manager of the Tatte Bakery & Cafe in Arlington Center called police to report that a young marijuana-smoking man was spotted lurking and puffing behind the store. By the time police arrived, the youth had disappeared.

12:07 p.m. – Accident with Injuries. Two cars swerved and collided broadside at the intersection of Concord Turnpike and Pleasant Street, near the town line with Belmont. Police, fire and EMS from Arlington and Belmont joined forces on the scene. Both drivers suffered injuries, one to the wrist and the other to the back and neck. Each driver claimed to have had the right of way, but one of the two had a running dashboard camera whose footage sufficed to decide the matter. The driver implicated by the evidence was written a citation for failure to yield.

Thursday, Nov. 23

12:50 p.m. – Missing Person. The APD received a call from the Somerville Police Department seeking help finding a missing Somerville woman believed to be wandering in Arlington. Using cellular telephone tracking data that the Somerville police had accessed through the missing woman's cell provider, APD officers were able to locate the woman in the Arlington Heights neighborhood and to return her to Somerville. In describing this situation, Capt. Richard Flynn noted that police must present just cause before using cellphone tracking.

Friday, Nov. 24

10:01 a.m. – Identity Theft. A Bridge Street resident called police to report having received a debit collector's demand in the mail for $200 supposedly owed to a Verizon account -- this despite her never having been a Verizon customer. The caller then told police that she proceeded to check her credit bureau information and found evidence of someone trying to open a number of accounts in her name, including one referencing Verizon. Police directed the woman to work with the credit bureau and with credit card-issuing banks to address her situation.

7:37 p.m. – Larceny under $1,200. A Virginia Road resident called police to report that a package had been lifted from her front porch. Using a neighbor's security camera, she was able to confirm that the item's loss was actual theft: The footage showed three men apparently casing the porch and then removing a package. Capt. Flynn commented that package theft is especially common during the holiday season and that such thieves commonly operate in groups of two or three. Although such theft is far from rampant in Arlington, he said, residents nevertheless should keep eyes peeled to protect themselves and their neighbors. An investigation of this incident is in progress.

Saturday, Nov. 25

11:35 a.m. – Hit and Run/Leaving Scene. An Appleton Street resident summoned police to report damage to her car's rear bumper that occurred when parked either at Stop & Shop or at Trader Joe's during a grocery-shopping trip. Police filed a report for her preparatory to her filing an insurance claim. “We do a great deal of documentation for insurance purposes,” Capt. Flynn remarked.

2:46 p.m. – Breaking and Entering a Boat or Vehicle. A Dartmouth Street resident called police reporting that her locked car had been broken into, entered and relocked on exit. She reported finding the driver's seat pushed back and the console opened, its contents strewn about and about $20 in coins and small bills missing. Police are investigating.

7:56 p.m. – Town Bylaw Violation. An Overlook Road resident called police to report construction noise too late in the day. When police arrived at the site, they found the workers packing up and leaving. Capt. Flynn said that a warning might have been called for if active work had been going on much later, but that, on a “reasonableness basis,” there was no cause for formal action in this case.

Monday, Nov. 27

9:40 a.m. – Property Destruction. A Florence Avenue woman called police to report having come across service ammunition among the stored effects of her husband, a retired APD officer. Police directed her to turn in the ammo at the station, where it is to be kept with other confiscated materials until there is enough to submit to State Police for destruction.

Nov. 23, 2023: Police blotter Nov. 14-20: Cops called for argument over portion size at pre-Thanksgiving meal


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.