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Brighton Tree Ninja held for tree-attacking parole violation

Alleged tree ninja being arrested

Ninja takedown Wednesday night. Photo via Jennifer Daley.

At his arraignment on vandalism charges yesterday for allegedly hacking at a Peaceable Street tree, Joseph Rizza was ordered detained pending a hearing on whether his newest charge violates his parole for attacking another Brighton Center tree with a hammer, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

A Brighton Municipal Court judge also set a $10,000 surety bond - $1,000 cash - should he be released on the parole matter. If he is released pending trial, he will be required to wear a GPS device and not leave home between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., the DA's office says.

D-14 officers say they caught Rizza green-handed Wednesday night as he tried to chop down a tree. Officials and residents say Rizza has been on a tree-death campaign for more than a decade, using axes, pruning shears and hammers to attack trees on two Brighton Center streets. Repeated arrests, court appearances and stays in Bridgewater have failed to stop him, they say.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Cheaper that way.

The Commonwealth no longer has a functioning mental health system, thanks to Charlie Baker's war on public service going back to the Weld Administration.

He was involved with the initial drive to rely on "community services" for mental health. Since he got into office, the whole thing has become a sick joke.

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Sadly true.

I wonder if homeowners on those roads would have standing to take the city/state to court over damage to property values. My understanding is the city specifically stopped planting replacement trees in the area because this dude would just kill them - damaging the fabric of the neighborhood.

Make it more expensive to keep letting this psycho roam around.

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But this guy's been doing this for far longer than Charlie Baker has been in office. Nothing stopped him before we got our new governor, either.

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Adam - Baker was involved in decimating mental health services back in the Weld administration. The Globe (I think Spotlight team, but not sure) had a good series of articles this fall on the problems with the MA mental health system and its history.

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the 'decimating' of the states' mental health hospital system in the ENTIRE UNITED STATES began long before your Republican scary boogie men -cause of all your issues, Weld and Baker, were elected. it was nation wide and although the majority of private and state funded hospitals were dismantled in the 1980s ( in MA that would be under the governors Ed King and Michael Dukakis both Democrats) the trigger was federal and started in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, also a Democrat. he instituted federally funded mental health centers and that is what triggered the large scale closing of state funded psychiatric care facilities.

the concept of 'community services' ( specifically community mental-health centers, or CMHCs, to take the place of state mental hospitals) as treatment for the seriously mentally ill was a federal program instituted by a MA Democrat POTUS at the dawn of the 1960s.

not to mention the thoroughly liberal Democrat refusal to keep dangerous people, psychiatrically impaired or not, locked up for any significant amount of time. MA is one of the bluest of blue states and its criminal justice system reflects this attitude of leniency toward a vast array of criminality including vicious violence against other human beings as opposed to trees.

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How might a tree that got attacked be healed/rehabilitated/improved ?

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...to print out Stenography records.

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If there are enough undamaged branches or if those damaged have substantial remaining portions, pruning is the best first-aid. Trees can grow some replacement branches. They aren't as good at it as say sea stars.

On the other hand, girdling is invariably fatal. That is, as this bad guy has repeatedly done, cutting through the bark around the circumference of the trunk kills a tree of any size. It stops the vascular flow and with that the transfer of moisture and nutrients.

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What a strange preoccupation with killing trees.

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pending a hearing on whether his newest charge violates his parole for hacking at another Brighton Center tree

And this friends is a good example of what is so wrong with our justice system.

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You think we should do away with due process? We all know what the result of that hearing is going to be in this case. But why is having that hearing a bad thing?

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Leading the pitchfork/torch coalition for neighborhood justice?

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...I can't find his mugshot anywhere. Not only is he a massive jerk, he's also stealth.

Did the BPD publish this idiot's mugshot? My google skills are either lacking, or I am also an idiot but of a different variety.

I'd like to know what this dickwad looks like in case I ever see him around Brighton after he is inevitably released from custody.

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No, it's because he dresses in black. So if you see anybody skulking around Brighton Center at night dressed in black and packing either a hatchet or one of those long tree pruning-shear things, you probably have a positive ID. And then call 911, unless you like confronting unhinged people with axes.

As for why BPD has never released his photo, dunno, but again, he shouldn't be too hard to discern.

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only covers what, 30% of the people in Brighton Center?

:-)

(J/K. And I realize the hatchet might be more unique....)

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Guessing that they don't post his photo precisely because they're worried about vigilante justice - he'd probably be recognized all the time otherwise.

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I don't understand that. By that logic, pretty much any person wanted by police should not have their photo published. Unless there's a disproportionate amount of vigilante justice associated with anti-tree crimes....which may be entirely possible now that I think of it.

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I believe mugs shot are public record.

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Sometimes police or the DA withhold them if they think they could affect an investigation. Not saying that's the case here, I don't know why there's no public photo of the guy (I'm a bit curious why some folks are so insistent on seeing his photo - unless you live on one of the two affected streets, you're not likely to see him, anyway).

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I thought he was active in Brighton Center, where many people pass through even if they don't live in the area. If it's two quiet side streets then yeah.

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A couple of years ago Channel 7 broadcast video of the ninja in the act, don't remember if his face was clear in it or not. The story is still on their site, but not the video.

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