Doing right, even when you have nothing E-mail
Written by APB Staff   
According to a recent article in the Boston Herald, the more "eyes and ears" out there, the better. What else can you say about a story where two homeless guys appear to have foiled an arson?

An MBTA Transit Police officer and a pair of down-and-out panhandlers near the commuter hub of South Station combined to thwart an alleged arson-for-hire scheme on Cape Cod, which led to the arrest of a suspect.

Benjamin Parker, 26, was arrested and charged with attempted arson, conspiracy and possession of an explosive device. According to the article, Parker had concocted an elaborate scheme to pay two homeless men $1,100 to set fire to a single-family home in the town of Harwich on Cape Cod.

Harwich cops are crediting MBTA police officer Gerald Dorsainvil and the homeless crime fighters for preventing a crime.

It's great that the vagrants came forward and told a cop that they had been approached by someone looking for arsonists. But what's really amazing is the fact that Dorsainvil listened to them.

"The MBTA officer could have easily dismissed a homeless guy saying, ‘Beat it, you're a pain in the neck,' but he didn't," Aram Goshgarian, a spokesman for the Harwich Police Department, told reporters for the Herald. Dorsainvil was on a routine security inspection at South Station when he started talking to a homeless man with a placard that read, "Help me, Please, I am unemployed."

The man told the officer that a driver had approached him and a buddy two weeks back and asked if they wanted to make some extra money. The homeless men agreed, and the driver returned later.

"You still want the job, this involves burning down a house; I'll be back at 8," he said. The homeless men agreed, perhaps looking for some cash up-front in a scheme they had no intention of participating in.

But prior to Parker returning, the two homeless men told Dorsainvil of the plot. He in turn reported the scheme to his supervisors.

The two homeless men agreed to act as bait in a police sting. They got into the man's car and were driven to the Cape as state troopers and Boston police followed in unmarked cars, police said. "We have a pretty good relationship with the homeless," Dorsainvil told the Herald.

"The chief always reminds us not to dismiss anyone, because there's . . . a chance in a million, like this one, that the information can help stop a crime."


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