Skip to Content
Streetsblog Massachusetts home
Streetsblog Massachusetts home
Log In

Boston Cop Crashes Cruiser Into Busy Freedom Trail Sidewalk

A cellphone snapshot of a crash scene where a Boston Police cruiser is on a sidewalk, with the wreckage of a traffic light underneath it. In front of the cruiser, near the left edge of the photo, a white man in a police uniform talks on a cellphone. Several pedestrians are walking around the crash site by walking in the street in the foreground. Behind the crashed car is a iron fence surrounding a graveyard where numerous people in coats are walking.

A Boston cop talks on his phone next to a wrecked police cruiser in the aftermath of an April 20th crash on Tremont Street in downtown Boston. Photo by Sean MacDonald, used with the photographer’s permission.

On Saturday, a Boston cop attempting to respond to a reported Burger King robbery instead crashed his cruiser into a busy downtown sidewalk on Tremont Street.

According to Boston Police, officers were responding to an alleged armed robbery at the Burger King at 128 Tremont Street around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 20th when one of them swerved and crashed his cruiser onto the sidewalk in front of the Granary Burying Ground, a popular tourist site on the Freedom Trail.

According to eyewitness accounts and a Boston Police Department spokesperson, there were no serious injuries, but the perpetrator did destroy a traffic light and damaged a fire hydrant.

According to two eyewitnesses who spoke to StreetsblogMASS, the officer narrowly avoided striking a woman riding her bike in the Tremont Street bike lane.

"I was on Tremont Street, between Silvertone and Beantown Pub," Sean MacDonald, a restaurant worker who works nearby, told StreetsblogMASS. "A woman was pedaling up Bromfield, meanwhile squad cars were screaming down Tremont. Everybody, all the tourists were looking around."

"I think (the bicyclist) had a green light," said MacDonald. "She pedaled into the bike lane just when a squad car drove through the intersection, and he swerved to avoid hitting her."

According to Massachusetts state law, police vehicles are only allowed to drive through red lights "if (the driver) first brings (their) vehicle to a full stop and then proceeds with caution."

The Tremont Street bike lane features flexible-post bollards that are designed to discourage drivers from driving into the bike lane, but provide no physical protection from out-of-control drivers.

A Boston Police spokesperson declined to name the officer who was responsible for the crash, alleging that the perpetrator had injured himself in the incident and was therefore entitled to privacy.

The officer also suffered from being the butt of several jokes from a passing Duck Boat tour guide, who seized the opportunity to make some wisecracks about Boston drivers.

"He was in the middle of his tour, talking about Sam Adams or whatever, and then he's like 'Oh! What do we have here? Big city stuff, here, folks,'" recalled MacDonald.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter