Monday, July 22, 2024

Homeless Vietnam veteran Richard Lucas staggered into the police station Thursday morning with dried blood all over his clothes and face, complaining he’d been assaulted and robbed the night before in front of the old Central Square Burger King.

“I was mugged!” said the 53-year-old, three-time purple heart recipient.

At the time of the mugging — around 10 p.m. Wednesday — officers asked if he wanted medical attention and he declined, Lucas said.

“I had to make it back to the shelter in Boston,” he said.

Lucas claimed he had been sober for six months, but that the mugging and then being locked out of the shelter led him to drink before coming to the police station.

If the story he tells is true, Lucas validated the old saying, “no good deed goes unpunished,” because he was in the process of treating a homeless woman to a meal when the attack occurred.

He said he didn’t remember the attack on Massachusetts Avenue, except for being kicked in the head. Lucas said his cell phone and $100 was stolen.

He said his attackers fled in a van, but he was unable to get the plate number.

As for his injuries, which appeared to be contained to his nose — at least the facial injuries — Lucas said he suffered far worse in the war.

He was shot in his right arm, he said, rolling up his sleeve and showing off what appeared to be a classic entry and exit wound pattern around the elbow joint.

Then he showed off a scar on his other arm that earned him Purple Heart No. 2: He said he was in close contact with “Charlie,” the Vietcong soldier who inflicted the wound, but that he prevailed in the struggle and ended up decapitating the enemy soldier with the enemy’s own weapon. Finally, dropping his bloodstained jeans to his ankles, he pointed to another wound on his inner right thigh — caused by a large-caliber bullet that struck from behind while he was Wring a machine gun from a boat.

Police didn’t seem to notice Lucas dropping his pants and telling war stories. His behavior was tame compared with some who walked in and ranted through the Plexiglas at the desk officer during the course of the morning.

Lucas left without saying anything else to police, seemingly satisfied that he had done his civic duty in reporting the crime.

Other violence:

— Police reported that a Broadway resident was “severely assaulted by a person known to him at the same address.” No charges were reported, but police said “the victim sustained major facial injury.”

— “A homeless female reports that on Nov. 1, a black male known to her as ‘Ace’ attacked her for not wanting to be pimped by him. When the female notified her boyfriend of the incident, a domestic dispute took place.”

No names or addresses where the crimes took place were in the police logs.

— A man reported that he was robbed of $25 at knifepoint while walking on Webster Avenue near Hampshire Street.

— A verbally abusive man tried to choke a staff member at the meditation center on Broadway.

— Two men got into a fight, or rather what police termed a “mutual assault that ended on the ground.” Neither party wished to file charges.

— A Cambridge resident reports that while he was walking on Perry Street at 7:10 p.m., a 15-year-old male approached him, showed a knife and demanded money.

“When the victim said he had none, the suspect fled.”

— A man went into a bookstore and threatened to shoot the place up if the bookstore didn’t have the book he had ordered. Police did not say what book he had ordered.