Ten years before, in 1994, a 75-year old Methodist minister, Rev. Accelynne Williams, suffered a fatal heart attack after a Boston Police SWAT team rushed into his Dorchester home on an incorrect tip that the apartment was being used for drug trafficking.
Davis said he is referring the Watertown incident to an overall investigation being conducted into his department’s response to the marathon bombing, but he and Deputy Lydon have already visited Kurkjian Jones at her home to apologize for the harrowing incident.
However, a careful listening to the tapes showed that the mistakes made did not lead to a tragic result because restraint and caution was shown in dealing with the situation. While storming the house was a real option, Deputy Lydon, putting to good use the training he has received as a hostage negotiator, kept seeking more information about what may have been happening inside the house. First, he asked whether there had been any unusual prior incidents at the address. Hearing there had been none, Lydon pressed the Boston dispatcher to find the person who had originated the call that a woman was being held captive by an armed intruder.
When that was not forthcoming, he asked for the phone number inside the house and placed a call to my sister. “I was petrified when I first saw all those police officers with their guns aimed at me,” Kurkjian Jones said. “But thankfully his voice was so reassuring. I just followed his instructions and did what he told me to do.”
Stephen Kurkjian is a retired member of The Globe staff.