BOSTON, MA – A parking enforcement worker in Boston is currently in recovery after a vicious attack occurred following a ticketing of an illegally parked car in Dorchester. The incident has sparked calls from both city officials and the workers’ union for increased safety measures to protect city workers in similar situations.
The attack, which took place on Hartwell Street, resulted in the arrest of Kenneth Vandergrift, the owner of the illegally parked vehicle. According to police, Vandergrift assaulted the worker by taking his radio and using it to physically assault him. Additionally, he is accused of kicking and stomping on the worker, causing serious injuries that left the victim bloodied and one of his eyes swollen shut.
While some residents in the area were shocked by the details of the attack, the union representing the workers expressed that this type of violence is unfortunately not uncommon for parking enforcement officers. Jim Durkin of AFCSME 93 stated that these workers endure verbal and physical assaults regularly in the course of their duties.
In response to the incident, Boston City Councilor Erin Murphy is advocating for a hearing on the matter and is pushing for the exploration of potential solutions, including increased security measures and the implementation of paired parking enforcement work during overnight shifts. Murphy emphasized the need to ensure that workers have the support and resources necessary to carry out their duties safely in the city.
Durkin echoed similar sentiments, expressing appreciation for any and all support in addressing the safety concerns of parking enforcement workers. He emphasized the importance of a change in public attitude toward these officers and highlighted the need to address the mean-spirited and often violent treatment they face.
The incident has prompted a broader discussion on the safety and protection of city workers who are vulnerable to such attacks. Looking ahead, city officials and the workers’ union are hoping to implement measures that will safeguard the well-being of parking enforcement employees and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.