34 arrested before festival
Boston Police arrested 34 people on drug, weapons, parole, and other violations yesterday, in anticipation of this weekend’s Boston Carnival, a Caribbean festival, Boston Police Chief Dan Linskey said.
Police targeted those who police and probation officers identified as likely to commit violent acts at the festival, and 21 of those arrested were charged with probation violations, Linskey said.
Police arrested the other 13 as part of “Operation Steel Drum,’’ which investigated a shootout between two groups at the Dominican Festival earlier this month. The 13 were arrested on charges including weapons and drug violations; police also served six search warrants, Linskey said.
Those arrested in connection with the Aug. 15 Dominican Festival “got a little extra attention because members of their group decided to pick up a weapon during a festival and cause havoc,’’ Linskey said.
Probation officers have also banned some of the people under their supervision from the festival under penalty of arrest, Linskey said.
Although several violent incidents have occurred at the festival in past years, police now use preemptive arrests and surveillance cameras to combat violence.
In 2007, at least four stabbings took place near the festival, although Linskey said they couldn’t be definitively linked to the festival. In 2008 and 2009, police used preemptive measures similar to actions taken this year, arresting 56 on parole violations and 21 on outstanding warrants.
“We’ve been able to intercept [guns] before they got to the festival’’ in the past couple of years, Linskey said.
Sean Teehan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.