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Violence prompts police sweep in Malden

Posted by Matt Byrne  September 17, 2012 01:13 PM

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In response to a spate of violence that peaked last Monday with the shooting of a teenager, police from seven cities and two regional departments swept through parks and common areas Friday night, city officials said.

No one was arrested, but police confiscated a small amount of marijuana, and said the sweep will send a message to Malden's criminal element.

In addition to police from Malden, Winchester, Somerville, Saugus, Revere, Medford, Everett, and Chelsea, troopers from the State Police and deputies from the Middlesex and Essex county sheriffs' offices pitched in. The State Police Air Wing was on stand-by, and personnel from the Metro North Gang Task Force also helped, according to the statement issued by Mayor Gary Christensen's office.

In total, 16 police dogs were out sniffing for drugs and guns in city parks.

"More K-9 Sweeps of Malden are planned in an effort to get the message out that we will not tolerate violence in our community," Christenson said in a statement.

Miller Park, Tartikoff Park, Roosevelt Park, South Broadway Park, the Linden School Lot and Park, Ferryway School and Park, and Lincoln Commons were part of the operation, the city said. People loitering were also cleared from the Malden Center T station and from the downtown area.

At each stop, law enforcement officials interviewed youth and cleared the areas.

Last Monday, a 17-year-old was critically injured when he was shot in the back, allegedly by Tyrell Berberena Jr., 17, of Malden, who was ordered Friday held on $250,000 bail.

Other non-fatal shootings, one in which another teenager was shot in the ankle at the Willow Street skate park, and a second near the Ferryway School that left a 28-year-old man critically injured, have contributed to a tense atmosphere in the city.

The mayor had previously pledged to beef up patrols, hire more officers, and expand technological crime-fighting efforts.

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