Local Crime, News, Police/Fire

Former Transit police officer from Lynn faces charges in beating of homeless man

BOSTON — A 65-year-old former Transit Police Department officer from Lynn has been indicted for allegedly beating a homeless man, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney.

Dorston Bartlett faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and violating a person’s civil rights. The DA  alleged he used a baton to strike a 32-year-old homeless man multiple times at the Ashmont MBTA station last summer.

Based on an investigation by Transit Police detectives and Suffolk County prosecutors, a grand jury also charged Bartlett with giving false statements to Boston Police officers who responded to the scene, as well as assault and battery for allegedly grabbing and pushing the victim during the booking process that followed his arrest.

Also indicted were Sgt. David Finnerty, 43, of Rutland, and Sgt. Kenneth Orcel, 55, of Chelmsford, for making a false report and as accessories after the fact to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

These charges stem from the alleged collusion among all three to create a false incident report on Bartlett’s encounter with the victim in the hours following the incident.

At the time of the alleged offenses, Finnerty was the shift officer in charge and Orcel was the shift patrol supervisor.

Both were placed on leave. Bartlett retired last year during the investigation.

The DA said evidence suggests Bartlett arrested the victim after the assault and attempted to charge him with assault and battery on a police officer.

In support of that charge, Finnerty allegedly drafted a report that was submitted by Bartlett and approved by Orcel.

Later the same morning, a member of the Transit Police command staff learned of Bartlett’s use of force and reviewed a draft of that report and video from cameras at Ashmont station.

Based on his observations, he ordered the victim released from custody, and the criminal investigation was launched.

“The conduct alleged in these indictments is unacceptable at every level,” said District Attorney Rachael Rollins in a statement. “The charges reflect an unprovoked armed assault by a uniformed officer on a vulnerable member of our community, followed by a joint venture with supervising officers to cover up that crime.”

Bartlett, Finnerty, and Orcel are expected to be arraigned on March 27.

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