The Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association, bar owners, the city administration and the License Commission are battling each other in an epic attempt to decide when to hold a meeting.
Meanwhile, a man was stabbed in downtown Lowell and flown to a Boston trauma center early this morning shortly after last call.
Police have not identified the man. I have no indication whatsoever whether alcohol was involved. Here is what I do know:
At about 2 a.m., a police sergeant called the “downtown portable,” a police unit assigned to patrol around downtown bars, to the area of Middle and Central streets to help deal with a “highly intoxicated” woman.
At the same time, a fight was reported in the area of Paige and Lee streets — a common trouble spot downtown when bars close, which has been discussed at prior public meetings.
Two cars who weren’t dealing with the situation on Middle Street were sent to Lee and Paige. By the time they arrived, they reported the fight was breaking up. There were no more radio transmissions regarding the fight.
At 2:12 a.m., an officer was sent to the emergency room at Lowell General Hospital, because a man had just walked into the ER with a stab wound.
At 2:22 a.m., as police and firefighters were sent to secure Regatta Field so that a MedFlight helicopter could land, the officer at Lowell General Hospital reported to a supervisor that the victim had been stabbed during a fight near Paige and Lee streets. The officer confirmed the MedFlight was taking the stabbing victim to Boston.
The man was unable to describe his attackers, but told Car 1 that he was part of a group of men who had been fighting at Paige and Lee streets. Car 1 was ordered to take some of the man’s clothing for evidence — any articles of clothing that had been penetrated by the knife.
I drove down to Paige and Lee streets but didn’t find much.
There were two police supervisors in their cruisers talking on Paige Street; there was a broken beer bottle on the curb on Lee Street; some kind of frozen liquid in a long line on the sidewalk in front of St. Joseph the Worker Shrine; a few people walking to their cars; and two or three cruisers patrolling the streets.
I came back home. The overnight shift at Lowell PD isn’t terribly talkative, so I’ll track down more information on this once I’m back at work on Sunday. I was already planning to talk to Superintendent Lavallee about another issue anyway.
Since the middle of the last year, Lavallee has released a graphic report on violence downtown, and faced backlash over that report. Lavallee, downtown residents, and the License Commission have clashed, and the City Council has asked Lavallee to revise his suggestions for dealing with all of this.
Meanwhile, the city is still spending tens of thousands of dollars on police overtime downtown, and all of this has gotten us to the point where we’re trying to decide when to hold meetings.
Now you know why I like to cover crime, instead of politics.
Anyone with information on this stabbing, or on who was involved in this fight, is asked to call Lowell police at 978-937-3200 or Crimestoppers at 978-459-TIPS (8477). Information can also be sent to police via Text-a-Tip, by texting TIP411 (847411) with the subject “LPDTIP.” Tipsters can remain anonymous, but can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.
UPDATE: The victim of this stabbing was a 25-year-old man who gave police addresses in both Lowell and Nashua, according to Superintendent Lavallee.
He was flown to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, but soon checked himself out of that hospital. He was stabbed in the back, but his injury was not life-threatening, said Lavallee, who described the man as “uncooperative.”