City police and state police detectives attached to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone’s Office are investigating a very serious assault in Lowell that could potentially end up as a homicide.
Police were called to 220 Branch Street this morning at 6:49 a.m., after someone called 911 to report that someone was possibly hurt inside an apartment of the building, pictured below, at Branch and Walker streets.
Police arrived at the apartment and found the door locked, but heard a noise inside the apartment that led them to believe there was someone injured inside.
Officers forced their way into the apartment, and found a woman in very serious condition as a result of being assaulted with an undisclosed weapon.
A spokeswoman for District Attorney Gerard Leone said the victim is 41-years-old, but otherwise declined to identify the woman.
The victim was taken to an undisclosed trauma center in Boston, where I’m told she remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
Police don’t go to the lengths you see in these photos for run of the mill assault cases.
At a little after 6 p.m., police arrested Jessica Garcia, 33, of 55 Pine St., Unit 3, and charged her with armed assault with intent to murder, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing severe bodily injury. She is being held tonight on $250,000 cash bail.
Police declined to comment on the weapon used in this assault. Garcia will be arraigned Monday in Lowell District Court, and that information will possibly be made public at that time.
This is the second serious assault in less than a month at this address. On May 26, a 25-year-old Lowell man was shot in the thigh at Walker and Branch streets.
That man has since recovered and police have a suspect in the shooting. Police say the shooting had no connection to this incident.
It appears, based on reports in our archives and stories I’ve written over the years, that Garcia has a long history with Lowell Police.
Most notable was a story I wrote in 2008, when police accused a woman named Jessica Garcia of being a prostitute who robbed a drunken man of $62,000 in cash.
I also wrote a story about a man who was reportedly her boyfriend in 2008, because he climbed onto the roof of a building on Bridge Street in an effort to avoid arrest. My story on that incident includes a note that he and Garcia were accused of a robbery previously.
Police are not commenting on a motive in this case, and are not identifying the victim. Police are keeping things pretty close to the vest in case this turns into a homicide. My prayers will be with the victim. By all accounts this was a truly horrific assault.
Police tell me they are not seeking any other suspects, but the investigation remains ongoing.
A neighbor of 220 Branch Street, Greg Desrochers, told me he’s been living next door “for five years too long,” and that he plans to move to Dracut as soon as possible.
Desrochers said his air conditioner was on overnight, and that he did not see or hear anything until he woke up to find police swarming around the house next door.
He said the neighborhood has been quiet for most of the last three years, but that the shooting and now this assault, along with a few other less serious incidents, have convinced him that it’s time to move. There was also this incident, which occurred a few blocks down Walker Street earlier this month.
“This is just too close to home,” he said. “I’m outta here.”
UPDATE: Now that it’s come out in open court, I can publish the fact that Garcia is accused of hitting the victim in the head, face and neck 11 times with the claw side of a claw hammer.
The victim remains in critical condition and is in a medically-induced coma at an undisclosed Boston hospital.
Anyone with information on this assault 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.