another question: would you prefer someone driving through Boston erratically at 40 mph, or chased
by police, at 70 or 80 mph?"
2007Explain this, please:
Because about 100 children a year are abducted and killed by strangers, we have totally
revamped American childhood. Good parents won't even let children in the back yard
alone. Yet at least that many innocent Americans, including children (some
estimate two or three times as many) are killed every year in police chases. And every time
I've written a column asking if these chases are worth it, the response is the
same. Surely I am insane. Really?
innocent bystanders killed; one permanently
injured The latest police
chase tragedy came early Sunday morning when Javier Morales, 29, refused to stop for a state
trooper in Everett. Morales made an illegal left turn off Route 16. He had no license and
feared jail time for a previous no-license arrest. Perhaps if he faced greater jail time for refusing to stop for police
a penalty many have proposed to reduce these chases Morales, weighing his options, would have made
a different choice. To stop. As it was, Trooper Joseph Kalil chased Morales stolen SUV from
Everett to Somerville's Davis Square, where Morales plowed into a cab driven by Walid Chahine, 45,
a husband and father. In the backseat were musician Paul Farris, 23, and his girlfriend Katelyn
Hoyt. Hoyt and Chahine [Walid Chahine died at the hospital.] are at Mass. General, critically
injured. Farris is dead. The fourth victim: Trooper Kalil, who must live with what happened
for the rest of his days. So why is it that state police here, and in many other states, chase
traffic violators at all? Boston police don't. Neither do police in many other big cities, in part
because of the risk of multi million-dollar lawsuits. Boston's pursuit standards are higher than
those followed by state police: Boston is supposed to chase only violent or dangerous suspects or
those driving erratically, possibly because of drugs or alcohol. Here's yet another question: would you prefer someone driving through
Boston erratically at 40 mph, or chased by police, at 70 or 80 mph? One more question: Why do we assume that chasing even dangerous
criminals is always worth the risk of maiming or killing a pedestrian or family in a
Fact The myth, by the way, is that police typically or even regularly
chase the dangerous, that there's a dead body in the trunk, says Geoffrey Alpert of the University
of South Carolina, who has studied police pursuits since 1983. The fact is, between 75 and 80 percent of chases occur after moving
violations, says Alpert. They're mostly young kids who've made stupid decisions. The more powerful
tool for police? Turn off the lights and siren and it's more likely the suspect will slow
down. I guess the idea of letting the bad guy get away seems un-American.
Perhaps, too, the car chase is too rooted in American legend, from The French Connection to O.J. to
whatever live police pursuit Fox and MSNBC can find and broadcast. And perhaps politicians don't want to buck police. And then there's
adrenaline: If you've heard a chase on a police radio, you know want I'm talking about. Yesterday Pearl Allen, a retired music and Afro-American studies
teacher at John D. O'Bryant School, said what many say who lose family to police pursuits. That if
police hadn't chased, her grandson would still be alive. Quentin Osbourne, once a standout for the Boston Raiders Pop Warner
team, was 15 when he was ejected from a Hyundai Elantra he and six friends had piled
into. The 16-year-old unlicensed driver ran a stop sign. Police chased. He
drove into a brick wall. They were just kids, his grandmother said. (The police) put on the
flashing blue light. I think the driver got scared and sped away, and they just kept chasing until
Boston Paul Farris, singer of theMark, is killed in an Overnight
note: I had planned on doing a Memorial Day tribute today, but dropped everything to write this
piece. For the friends of the people hurt in this accident, to the fans of the band theMark, to
anyone who ever wanted to be in a band and to touch music - who strive to live and be near
creativity... This is a dark day. My thoughts go out to you. None of us live forever - cherish what
you have. An important story.
BOSTON: Paul Farris, singer of the Tuft's alterno-rock band theMark, and his girlfriend Katelyn
Hoyt were the passengers of a taxi cab struck by the driver of an SUV being chased by Massachusetts
State Police. The driver was arrested at the scene. Paul was killed and Kate and the cab driver are
treated for very serious injuries.
chase ends in collision; 1 killed By April
Simpson and Beth Daley
Boston Globe Staff | May 28,
A 2006 graduate of Tufts University who was the lead singer of a popular Boston rock band was
killed yesterday after a sport utility vehicle being chased by State Police crashed into the taxi
cab in which he and his girlfriend were passengers.
Paul V. Farris, 23, of Medford, who had recently taken his law school entrance exams and was the
lead singer of theMark, was pronounced dead at Somerville Hospital soon after the early morning
accident, the Middlesex District Attorney's office said.
Farris and his girlfriend were coming home after a night out with friends when the SUV hit the
cab, said Cathy Cella, a friend of the Farris family.
Police arrested the driver of the SUV -- Javier Morales, 29, of Somerville -- at the scene and
charged him with motor vehicle homicide yesterday.
Farris's girlfriend and the cab driver suffered serious injuries and were being treated at
Massachusetts General Hospital last night, according to authorities. On theMark's page on
MySpace.com, Farris's girlfriend was identified as Katelyn Hoyt. Fans of the band left messages on
the site with prayers and condolences for Farris's family and Hoyt.
An unidentified employee of Metro Cab of Boston acknowledged last night that one of its cabs was
in the accident, but declined to identify the driver.
"This is the most senseless thing that has ever happened," said Cella, of Edina, Minn., a suburb
of Minneapolis, where Farris grew up. Cella described Farris as charismatic and handsome with a
great sense of humor.
"My two youngest daughters would fight over who was going to marry him when they got older,"
Farris, who was a history and political science major at Tufts, was working as a claims adjuster
while he decided which law school to attend.
Morales was driving a Mercury Mountaineer in Everett about 1:20 a.m. when a State Police cruiser
tried to stop him for motor vehicle violations, according to the Middlesex district attorney's
office. Morales refused to stop and led the police on a chase into Somerville, authorities said.
Four minutes later, his SUV hit the cab, which was stopped on Highland Road.
Farris's alternative rock band was well known in Boston and played in venues throughout the
Northeast, including the Knitting Factory in New York and The Paradise in Boston. Farris graduated
from Edina High School in 2002. He has a brother, Scott, who is 19, Cella said.
"He was just one of the best kids, Cella said. "He was one of the kids everyone loved to have
underfoot. He was funny, nice, and polite, and greeted everyone's mom with a hug."
Tufts alum Paul Farris dies at
23 May 27, 2007 7:51PM
in Somerville ends life of 2006 graduate, musician
Tufts alum Paul Farris (LA '06) was
killed in Somerville on May 27 after a driver fleeing from the police hit a taxi he was riding
in with his girlfriend. Farris was 23.
An avid music enthusiast, he was the lead
singer of the respected indie band theMark, which is comprised of almost entirely of Tufts alumni.
Members of the group came together while at Tufts, and in 2004 they won the Battle of the Bands and
earned the right to open at the Spring Fling concert that was headlined by The
Jordan DeLiso (LA '07), theMark's
drummer, said that Farris was the key to the band's success. "We got most of our energy from Paul
because the singer is the frontman in [a] band whether they acknowledge it or not, and he took that
position even off-stage," he said.
DeLiso remembers Farris as a truly
inspirational and welcoming person who drew from a wide range of sources to write intelligent
music. "[He was] constantly thinking, analyzing everything and you can really tell that in his
lyrics," he said. "Nobody I know wrote or sang like he did. His lyrics were basically like his
thoughts on the world turned into a story involving mythical characters and references to Dante and
all that stuff," DeLiso said.
He said that these lyrics translated into
rousing performances. "It was beautiful watching him just totally go nuts on stage and be so into
what he was about and what he was singing," DeLiso said.
Apart from his role in his band, during
his senior year at Tufts Farris was also the chair of AppleJam, a student group that brings
concerts to campus.
Rising junior Daniel Stern, who served as
a co-chair for AppleJam this past year, echoed DeLiso's thoughts, referring to his predecessor "an
incredibly nice guy" who was "very passionate about music."
University President Lawrence Bacow
called Farris' death the tragic end to a promising life. "It is always difficult to lose someone so
young and so talented. And to lose him so senselessly only compounds the tragedy," he said in an
e-mail to the Daily. "Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
The car chase that led to Farris' death
began when a state trooper spotted Javier Morales, 29, of Somerville, cutting off traffic in
When the trooper tried to pull Morales
over, he allegedly sped away, following a route that brought him into Davis Square and onto College
Avenue. Jessica LeBlanc, Morales' pregnant girlfriend, was in the car with him. The chase ended
when Morales slammed into the cab that Farris and his girlfriend Katelyn Hoyt were in at the
intersection of Kidder Avenue and Highland Road in Somerville.
According to the Somerville Journal,
Morales was driving with a suspended license at the time of the accident, something of he had
already been convicted on twice prior to Sunday's accident. He has also been convicted of several
other crimes including assault and battery and breaking and entering.
As of Friday morning, Hoyt and taxi
driver Walid Chahine were both in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a
spokesperson for the hospital's Public Affairs Office told the Daily.
Morales and LeBlanc both survived the
crash, and Morales was arraigned in his hospital room at MGH earlier this week.
According to the Boston Globe, he is
charged with vehicular homicide and a litany of other offenses related to the