These Guys Should Have Just Given Up

While I was on Pawtucket Street covering the fire tonight at 10:24 p.m., police tell me a man went into R&M Liquors, 815 Lakeview Ave., in Lowell, pulled a knife and tried to rob the place.
The attempt failed, and the suspect hopped in the passenger seat of a green Honda Civic and drove off.
But a short time later, someone robbed Wendy’s at Arlington and Bridge streets in Dracut at knifepoint.
That suspect got into the passenger seat of a green Honda Civic and fled.
Below is a photo of what I found at Willard and Bridge streets in Lowell after I was told police had stopped a green Honda Civic there a little after 10:30 p.m.

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Police tell me Andy Montanez, 26, of 3 River Place, in Lowell, who is pictured in a close up here…

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And Michael Feliz, 24, of 151 Coburn St., Lowell, who is pictured here…

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…were identified as the bad guys. They were both charged with armed assault with intent to rob in connection with the attempted heist at R&M Liquors, and were being held by Lowell Police early Wednesday morning.
Dracut Police tell me they will also have charges, but they could not immediately say what those charges will be last night.
Both men will be arraigned this morning in Lowell District Court.
I have to credit my buddy Laura, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s roommate with tipping me off to all this while I was at the fire.
This is twice now I’ve had to thank her. I need to get my act together.
I’m off on vacation now until after Memorial Day, so I’ll try to shape up by then. Have a very good week everyone.

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Fire at Pawtucket and University

Firefighters got called to 195 University Ave., for a reported structure fire Tuesday at 9:23 p.m., and arrived to find smoke coming from the third floor of the large triple decker.
The fire quickly went to two alarms as crews headed inside to battle the fire that Deputy Chief Patrick McCabe told me appeared start in a third floor apartment before burning up into the roof.

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Teresa Atwood, who graduates from UMass-Lowell on Saturday, said she was watching television in the second-floor apartment she shares with two roommates when she heard the fire alarm go off.
Her friend Andrew Kovacs was outside smoking a cigarette when he heard the alarms and saw smoke. He ran back into the building to help Atwood grab her roommate’s cat and then both of them knocked on doors to warn everyone of the fire.
Nagaib Aldaylam, of Lowell, was working in the restaurant he has owned on the building’s first floor, Edree’s Gourmet Deli, Pizza and Catering, when he heard the alarms.
He told me he checked his restraurant to make sure nothing was wrong in there before heading outside and hearing about the fire from Kovacs.
All three stood across University Avenue while crews battled the blaze.
McCabe said it took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.
Two firefighters were hurt while battling the blaze, one who hurt his knee and another who fell down a flight of stairs.
Both men were taken to city hospitals for treatment but were expected to be alright, McCabe said.
“You can tell by looking at them they’re beat up, but they did a great job,” McCabe said as an unidentified firefighter stood next to him soaking wet and covered in insulation.
McCabe said the cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Here’s a video compiled by Photographer Julia Malakie and I.
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1570028818

Three-car Crash Involving a Bus

A school bus full of about 25 lacrosse players from Woburn had just left their overtime victory over Dracut tonight when a pair of cars crashed in front of their bus at Riverside and Sparks streets in Lowell, sending both cars slamming into the bus.
No one on the bus was hurt, but the 29-year-old woman who was driving the maroon car pictured below was taken to Saints Medical Center.

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The 71-year-old man pictured by his car below was not hurt.

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I’m told the bus was stopped at the stop sign when the crash occurred. Names were not available on the driver’s yet, nor the woman’s condition, nor any description of how the crash occurred. The lacrosse coach from Woburn said his kids were unhurt, but that he didn’t see what happened in front of the bus.
Lisa Camnon, who lives about a block down the street, said drivers have been speeding on that stretch of Riverside Street lately, and that a lot of folks rush to pull out from the side streets in the area.
“They speed through here all the time,” she said.
She said there have been two other crashes at Riverside and Sparks in the last couple weeks, and another crash just a few blocks away at Riverside and Lafayette.
Camnon said she would like the city to consider installing a red light in the area, which is definitely heavily-traveled.
Here’s a video of a tow truck yanking on the Honda to free it from under the bus.

Stolen BMW – Foot Chase – Arrests

Lowell Police started a pretty big search for a stolen BMW tonight while I was tuned into the missing girl in Billerica around 8:15. I know they were looking for it in the area of the YMCA and the Lowell Connector, though.
Then about 9 p.m., the guy’s in Car 7 spotted the BMW going the wrong way on Suffolk Street near Market Street.
The two guys in the car bailed out and took off on foot, leaving the car on Suffolk.

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After a short foot chase, Jeremy Alicea, 21, of 1 Riverplace Towers, Unit C311, was arrested in front of the White Eagle Cafe, as you can see below.

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He had a cut on his hand that was treated by Trinity Ambulance. I overheard him telling an officer he had just gotten out of a five-month stretch in jail last week.
Just down the street, by Market and Lewis streets, police arrested Jessy Do, 20, of 10 Primrose Way, Unit 3204. He is pictured below.

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Both men were charged with receiving stolen motor vehicle, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Do was also charged with driving without a license, speeding and one-way violation.
Both men were still being held last night. They’ll be arraigned Tuesday in Lowell District Court.

Billerica Police Don’t Screw Around

I was literally seconds from posting a breaking news piece on the website tonight because Billerica Police had a missing 5-year-old girl on High Street in their town.
I’m not gonna publish the street address or description or anything since the girl has now been found, but it’s always interesting to see what kind of response a town will put out when situations like this arise. Billerica wasn’t pulling any punches.
They put a description of the girl out to surrounding towns within minutes; the state police airwing had been called as darkness fell; Bedford Police were already on their way to help the search; Chief Daniel Rosa was in the police station preparing to use the reverse 911 system to notify residents in the area; and the Billerica Fire Department was sending some men to provide extra manpower to the search.
While all that was happening, police were also covering their bases, and a secondary search of the girl’s home was being conducted just to make sure she wasn’t in there.
She was in there, and the secondary search located her.
All is well in Billerica, and let me tell you they don’t screw around when a kid that age might in danger!

Busy Night

I was too busy last night to blog about the stories I was working on and for that I apologize.
First I heard about the city solid waste and recycling coordinator being charged with assaulting an off-duty police officer.
Shortly thereafter I heard about $500,000 worth of shoes being being stolen from a city trucking company when two shipping containers were driven away overnight.
That one is pretty interesting. Police didn’t want to say too much about what they’ve got so far, but it’s certainly a big investigation.
Plus we tracked down a few details about the boat explosion and fire in Chelmsford.
Sunday wasn’t much of a day of rest!

Boat on Fire – Hart Pond, Chelmsford

Hearing radio reports that there is a boat on fire at Hart Pond in Chelmsford, but I don’t know a whole lot more right now.
Trinity ambulance was cancelled, so no apparent injuries. Radio reports indicate the boat is still burning as of 11:35 p.m., but that it has been pushed back from the dock. Crews are wetting down the dock.
I’ll update with more once I can learn it, but it might be morning till we get all the details. I’m sure they’ll come eventually, Chelmsford Fire is one of the best agencies around when it comes to sending out reports.