Cambridge residents on alert following deadly park attack

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Officials are urging Cambridge community members to stay on alert following the deadly attack of a 60-year-old man in Danehy Park last week.

Mayor Marc McGovern held a public meeting with residents, members from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the city manager’s office, and the Cambridge Police Department Thursday evening to discuss the events that tragically unfolded on Jan. 2, resulting in the death of Paul Wilson.

Authorities say Wilson was found unresponsive from head trauma in the park and later died at Beth Israel Hospital.

District Attorney Marian T. Ryan told residents Thursday that the attack could be random or targeted and that people should remain cautious.

“The question: should people be concerned? Yes. People should be exercising caution,” she said.

Wilson often used the park to exercise and walk to work at IBM, officials said.

Investigators searched the park following the attack and found a bat but they don’t know if it is connected to the homicide.

With few clues, authorities appealed to the public to share any information they may know.

“It is unsettling,” Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard said. “I’m not going to tell you that you don’t have a right to be bothered and frightened because this happened in your community.”

This marked the first attack in the park in nine years, putting the community on edge.

“What’s also unnerving is the nature of the crime, that it would be 6:30 when there could be plenty of people walking around, not at midnight,” one person said at the meeting.

Wilson’s friend Tom Neek reiterated the odd timing of the crime.

“I have no idea what happened,” he said. “It’s 6:30 at night. There’s a lot of people around that parking lot, so I’m kind of shock that it happened to anybody.”

Police have increased patrols in and around the park in an attempt to alleviate fears and keep the public safe.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cambridge police.

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