Off Beat

‘Rat it again’: Man accused of threatening people with his pet rat is arrested at MBTA station

Jerry the rat will remain in Boston animal control custody until he can be reunited with his owner.

MBTA Transit Police have arrested a man “well known” for causing disturbances on the T with his pet rat, the department confirmed Friday.

The 57-year-old Boston man was arrested at Oak Grove Station around 4 p.m. Thursday after threatening people with his rat, Jerry, transit police wrote on Twitter. The man was also consuming alcohol, being disorderly, and refusing to leave, according to police. 

The Malden District Court clerk’s office confirmed he is facing charges for disorderly conduct, trespassing, and threats to commit a crime. It was not immediately clear whether the man had retained an attorney. 


Per MBTA rider rules and regulations, small animals should be kept in pet carriers on the T.

“Allowing animals off leash, out of carriers and/or taking up vehicle seats is not permitted,” the MBTA website states.

Boston Animal Care and Control took custody of Jerry, Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan told Sullivan did not respond to emailed questions about the man’s arrest and history with TPD.

Boston animal control confirmed Jerry is being cared for at its shelter in Roslindale, where he will remain until he can be reunited with his owner. The department declined to comment on the rat’s condition.

The man and his rat previously caused a stir when they were escorted off an MBTA bus in December. In that incident, other riders felt unsafe and exited the bus after seeing the man with his rat sitting on his shoulder, transit police said at the time. 

There are numerous other man-and-rat MBTA sightings on social media — many on the Orange Line — though it’s unclear whether all involve the same duo. 


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