Sunday, June 16, 2024

Green and Magazine streets in Cambridge’s Central Square. (Image: Google)

A naked man seen in Central Square on May 31 wasn’t streaking lightheartedly or bare on a dare – he was forced to strip as a form of shaming in what police are calling an unarmed robbery.

Police got a first call at 1:21 p.m. about “one male making another male take his clothes off” at Green and Magazine streets, according to scanner reports. That’s near a Subway sandwich shop and Star Variety minimart where five days later an unhoused woman was found with a stab wound to her lower back.

The naked man made it across a busy, car-clogged intersection where Magazine, River Street and Western Avenue converge and to the rear parking lot of a post office on Pleasant Street. Police went to meet him. “Officers found the victim’s clothing in a trash receptacle next to an MBTA bus stop, and they were given back to him,” said Jeremy Warnick, director of communications and media relations for Cambridge police.

Why was he naked? The victim had a verbal altercation with the other man, who then “reportedly forced [the victim] to remove his clothing,” Warnick said.

The suspect in the incident is Robert White, 43, of Boston, who has been identified as involved in possible drug activity in Central Square over the previous week, as well as “being associated” with two large fights, Warnick said.

White apparently left the area while police were locating the victim, talking with witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage; officers could not find him immediately afterward. They instead went to Cambridge District Court for a warrant on charges of unarmed robbery and disorderly conduct.

Spotted by officers back in Central Square the next day, White was arrested on the warrant at 2:56 p.m., according to Cambridge police logs.

While executing a warrant on White in 2020, members of Boston’s Citywide Drug Control Unit said they found him with 19 plastic bags of fentanyl, 14 of crack cocaine and some marijuana. When they searched his home in Dorchester, they found a 9 mm handgun that had been reported stolen from Miami four months earlier.