Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Media Circus On the Way to the Bike Lanes Press Conference...

On my way to Mayor Thomas Menino's press conference about the new Commonwealth Avenue bike lanes, I passed by Boston Police's Brighton station D-14... and saw lots of TV trucks stationed outside along with media types milling about.


There were lots of police vehicles around -- including many motorcycles -- and the parking lot alongside the station was partially blocked off. I could hear at least one helicopter overhead.

Since it was less than half an hour before the bike lane event, I assumed that Mayor Menino was visiting station D-14 first, particularly since today is the official day of the National Night Out celebration. I thought: No biggie. Don't stop to take a photo of the circus. Just pedal on.

I was wrong on pretty much all counts.

The D-14 media swarm was surrounding Clark Rockefeller (aka "???") who kidnapped his daughter a week-and-a-half ago and was caught Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland. After landing at Logan Airport, he was brought to D-14 station. The Boston Globe has the details:
After landing at Logan at 9:45 a.m., [Clark] Rockefeller was taken to the Boston Police station in Brighton. Television news helicopters hovered overhead as he arrived in a motorcade that included two cruisers and a motorcycle escort. Rockefeller sat in the back seat with a scruffy beard and stared straight ahead as motorcycle police pushed photographers away from the car.

Rockefeller's defense attorney, Stephen Hrones, met with his client for 30 minutes today and described him as calm and collected to reporters waiting for his arraignment later this afternoon in Boston Municipal Court. When asked about the kidnapping charge, the attorney said that his client had every right to be with his daughter.

Rockefeller was brought to Brighton for booking and processing because the D-4 station normally having jurisdiction over the location of the kidnapping -- Marlborough Street in the Back Bay -- is undergoing renovations, according to Jake Wark, Director of Public Affairs at the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. Brighton's D-14 station completed its own renovations earlier this year, and hence was ready for fingerprinting and all that. After his entourage visited beautiful Brighton, Rockefeller returned downtown to the Boston Municipal Court for his afternoon arraignment.

I have been mostly avoiding the Rockefeller kidnapping story in the past week-and-a-half, thinking of it as yet another story over-hyped by the media. It's easy to imagine why, since the seven-year-old daughter is so photogenic. Little did I know that the story would bring the media circus and helicopter spectacle out to Brighton Center.

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