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Homeless man brutally assaulted in Massachusetts

 Spare Change News (USA) 04 June 2019

On July 22nd a group of six juveniles brutally assaulted 30-year-old homeless man Abraham Pojoy, while he was sleeping along the border of the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks just short of Lynn train station. As Amanda Fakhreddine reports, this attack is no one off incident, and marks merely the latest in a spate of violent assaults on homeless individuals in the Massachusetts town this year. (615 words) - By Amanda Fakhreddine

Spare Change News

Courtesy of Spare Change News

LYNN, USA - On July 22nd a group of six juveniles brutally assaulted 30-year-old Abraham Pojoy, while he was sleeping along the border of Robert McManus Field and the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks just short of Lynn station.

Around 3:00pm, the homeless man, an immigrant from Guatemala, was sleeping in between bushes and trees at Robert McManus Field, when six Lynn boys, aged 11 to 14, threw bricks, stones, bottles and sticks at Pojoy, according to the Lynn Police press report.

Pojoy's wounds were so traumatic that emergency officials transported him to Massachusetts General Hospital instead of Lynn's NSMC Union Hospital. He was rushed to MGH with life threatening injuries later that day, according to the North Shore Daily Item.

The official police report, which is public information, was not made available to this reporter.

"The investigation is still active and we would not make these reports available voluntarily," said Lt. William Sharpe.

An 11-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy have been charged with armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to maim with a dangerous weapon and a civil rights violation. They pleaded not delinquent to these charges on July 27th.

Three 13-year-olds and a 12-year-old were also charged with armed assault to murder, assault to maim, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and a civil rights violation. They too pleaded not delinquent.

The attack on Pojoy has sent shockwaves through the members of the community in Lynn and surrounding areas.

"This is not the first and won't be the last attack on homeless people," said Marjorie St. Paul, Executive Director of the Lynn Shelter Association, "The two [11 and 14-year old] young boys are the most horrifying part of this attack."

This attack has been one of many to occur locally over the course of this summer. In one instance, a homeless couple was set on fire while they were sleeping, said St. Paul. Lynn also has a lot of gangs, which puts homeless people in an even more vulnerable position. She said she did not know these boys and was unaware if they were part of a gang.

Robyn Frost, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Coalition Against Homelessness, had not previously known about this case was taken aback when the information was disclosed.

"People without housing and people who have nowhere to turn are often frequently victimized," said Frost.

Lynn Police have reported that the juveniles targeted Pojoy not because he was homeless but because he was Guatemalan.

"The Guatemalan homeless are very vulnerable. Not only do they have a different language but they physically look different," explained St. Paul. Pojoy has not been sheltered in a long time and has a history of being a chronic alcoholic, which may have made him an easy target.

St. Paul said that while assaults on the homeless happen throughout the year, it is much more dangerous for them during the summer than during winter months.

"For the people that we house, there is a feeling that they need to stay here and be safe," said St. Paul, "A lot of people that went out [of the shelter] have come back after this."

The Lynn Shelter association has organized groups and discussions to discuss about what happened to Pojoy. The Lynn police have been in touch with the shelter, and have been giving frequent updates on the case to the members of the shelter.

"The fact an 11-year-old had that type of anger to unleash on a person… it's very frightening," said St. Paul, "I can't imagine an 11-year-old doing something like this. It's terrible."

According to Lt. Sharpe the investigation is still ongoing.

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