Abuse of Homeless People at North Station Causes TD Garden to Rethink its Security

Allegations against several security guards who monitored the North Station area of the TD Garden have caused the company to sever ties with a contractor following the arrest of a man who police say viciously attacked a homeless man days before Christmas.

Rene Norestant Jr., 27, of Everett was charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after beating a disabled man with his own cane, according to court documents.

Boston Globe reporters tracked down the man who says he was the victim of the beating and who is homeless, according to the Globe. This led to the discovery of multiple allegations against the TD Garden’s security, which the Globe has called “a pattern of alleged abuse,” primarily against homeless people.

Court documents show Norestant pushed the homeless man into a door as he was walking down the stairs to leave the station, as observed through MBTA surveillance footage.

In retaliation, the homeless man swung his cane and hit Norestant in the ankle.

Police said Norestant punched the homeless man, knocked him to the ground, picked up his cane and hit him over the head with it until he bled.

Surveillance footage shows the homeless man crawling away as a pool of blood forms beneath him and as patrons look onward and point out Norestant after the assault.

In September, an aggravated assault and battery involving a security guard around North Station was reported to police.

Records show a security guard following a man who ordered coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts at North Station, and then stopping him and asking him to leave.

The man told police that he asked the security guard why he continually harassed him every time they saw each other. He then said the security guard had punched him in the mouth several times until he fell to the ground. He told police the same security guard kicked him twice while he was on the ground, placed him in a choke hold under his right arm and ordered him to leave. Several bystanders witnessed the altercation.

The Boston Globe said the man who reported his attack to the police was also homeless.

Other homeless victims have shared their stories with the Globe, as have past employees of Allied Universal—the company that patrolled the TD Garden and North Station—who said the mistreatment of homeless people by their former colleagues was frequent and unreported.

The MBTA and TD Garden have vowed to work together to prevent similar situations from occurring, according to the Globe.

Jordan Frias

Jordan Frias is an editorial assistant at Boston Herald and a contributor of Spare Change News. He is vice president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a graduate of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism.

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