Real Life Somerville Police Stories


Murphy and Johnson Arrest

On the above date and time, I was assigned to car W7 in uniform patrol. I was dispatched to Alewife Brook Parkway for a reported fight along with
Car W6, Officer M. DiFava. Upon arrival, we found no fight at Alewife and Woods Ave. Car W5, Officer T. Van Nostrand also responded.

Officer DiFava spoke to a witness who informed him the fight broke up prior to the arrival of police and the parties dispersed.

The three patrol units stayed in the area. I drove east on Alewife Brook Parkway. At the intersection of Alewife and Boston Ave, I came upon two vehicles stopped at a green light. There were two w/m’s at the passenger side of the Toyota Corolla.

At that moment, I believed the two vehicles had probably been involved in a motor vehicle accident and stopped on the busy thoroughfare to exchange papers. I activated the cruisers blue lights for safety.

Upon my lighting the blue lights, the two males fled down Boston Avenue. One was wearing a black shirt. The other was in a lighter colored shirt.

The operator of the Corolla alighted his vehicle and informed me the two fleeing men had smashed the window of his car. His wife and three year-old child were in the vehicle.

I immediately drove onto Boston Avenue and could not see either man. I called to Cars W5 and W6. The men had to have run into a backyard of a nearby residence.

A couple of minutes later, the men were spotted in the backyard of 178 Boston Avenue. They fled toward the area behind U-Haul. The area behind U-Haul has weeds, trees and train tracks.

Officer Van Nostrand gave chase but lost them before they made it to the weeded area. Officer Van Nostrand ripped his pants while climbing over a chain link fence.

We called for Medford Police officers to respond. Several Medford officers arrived a short time later. We believed the men were in the weeds and we had officers on both sides.

Approximately ten minutes later the men came out on the Somerville side by U-Haul. They were detained by officers Van Nostrand, DiFava, and Sgt. R. Isodoro. I was obtaining the contact information from the victims. I responded and identified the men as the ones who ran from the Corolla on Alewife.

When speaking to a witness, he stated that someone yelled at the two men. They approached his vehicle while at the intersection and one of the men punched the passenger window with his fist and the glass smashed. He says his three year-old son was frightened by the incident. He says it was someone in a different car who yelled at the men who smashed his passenger window.

Both men were arrested and the police wagon was called to transport them to the station. While waiting for the wagon, the defendants, Andrew Johnson and William Murphy were arguing with each other.

In short, Mr. Johnson was yelling at Mr. Murphy to keep his mouth shut. He kept telling Murphy the police couldn’t prove they did anything if he kept his mouth shut. Meanwhile, Mr. Murphy objected to Mr. Johnson smiling while they were being arrested. Murphy told Johnson that he wasn’t cuffed he would go over and punch him in the mouth.

We had the men separated. William Murphy was standing at the front of Sgt. Isodoro’s cruiser. Meanwhile, Andrew Johnson was sitting on the ground 10-15 feet away. Both were handcuffed behind their back.

William Murphy made a sudden bolt toward Andrew Johnson. Officer DiFava moved in front of Mr. Johnson to protect him from the assault. I ran over and pushed Mr. Murphy away. However, I was not quick enough to prevent him from kicking officer DiFava in the thigh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.