-By Seth Daniel
The strangest case of a somewhat strange tenure for the Superintendent of Public Works (DPW) emerged last Friday morning as Don Goodwin was brutally assaulted outside the popular Bagel Bin restaurant in what appears to have been a targeted attack.
The incident left everyone in the City – from the mayor to the regular residents – wondering who would want to put the bum’s rush on the popular DPW Chief.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no one had any real answers to that question. Police confirmed that there had been no arrests in the case, and would only say that the case is under investigation right now.
“The Goodwin investigation is ongoing and will be for some time,” said Capt. Michael Murphy. “It is now being investigated by detectives. We do have a vehicle registration and some witness statements to work with.”
Goodwin suffered some severe lacerations to his head and a pretty serious looking black eye, but other than that, thankfully, he was not seriously injured. He apparently had more than 10 stitches in the back of his head, where he had been hit by a blackjack or a pipe.
On Monday, he was back at work and said he was fine, but couldn’t comment in any way on the case.
According to the police report, the incident took place around 9:30 a.m. on Friday when Goodwin was headed into the Bagel Bin – a regular stop of his for breakfast almost every day.
He apparently parked behind the Elk’s Club in that large, but somewhat isolated, parking lot.
Goodwin told police that a vehicle pulled up near him and a heavy-set man got out and hit him three times in the head with a blackjack or a pipe. Following that, the attacker and a driver fled in the car out of the parking lot.
Goodwin was able to get the plate number and the make and model of the vehicle.
Police have run a check of that plate, which allegedly comes back to a man from Chelsea with a long criminal record. However, police have not arrested that man, nor have they listed him as a suspect.
There is also good reason to believe that police might have the incident recorded on surveillance cameras that blanket the Shirley Avenue area.
Goodwin apparently emerged from the parking lot and went over to the Bagel Bin for help.
City Councillor Ira Novoselsky was one of the first to encounter Goodwin, and he said that the Super had a tremendous amount of blood on his face and was injured pretty significantly.
Novoselsky and some other DPW workers at the Bin were about to take Goodwin to the hospital when police arrived on the scene.
The police report indicated that Goodwin told them initially that he couldn’t identify any of his attackers. However, as he was being put into an ambulance, he indicated that he could definitely identify the driver of the vehicle.
Cataldo Ambulance transported him to Mass General Hospital in Boston for treatment. He received some stitches and was monitored for the head injury. However, he was back on the job rather quickly.
Mayor Tom Ambrosino said he was surprised by the turn of events.
He called it a “very strange incident,” but had no other information.
“To the superintendent’s credit, he missed no work,” said the mayor.
Initially, most everyone observing the case thought it must have been a robbery gone bad, as the Shirley Avenue neighborhood has its share of street robberies.
However, more and more it appeared that the incident was not a robbery, but maybe more of a targeted attack on Goodwin.
There have been many suppositions, including that someone had hired the man from Chelsea to beat up Goodwin as some sort of message.
That, of course, could not be confirmed at all.
Goodwin certainly has his list of enemies.
However, virtually everyone agrees that none of those persons would go so far as to bring physical harm to him.
For now, most are left to grasp at straws and search for any kind of motive in what is truly a mystery at this point.