State Police report a man on parole for a second-degree murder is back behind bars after his arrest for stabbing somebody during a traffic altercation where Boylston Street crosses the Muddy River at the Bowker Overpass.
State Police say Joseph Irizarry, 41, paroled just last year for fatally shooting a rival gang member in Lawrence in 2000, was driving an Acadia SUV outbound on Boylston when he ran the red light at Charlesgate East and Boylston Street and almost struck another vehicle, around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.
The vehicles stopped prior to the intersection of the Bowker Overpass and Boylston Street where the driver of the Arcadia, later identified as Irizarry, and the victim and his relative got out and began to argue. Irizarry then allegedly punched both occupants of the other vehicle in the face, then got back into the driver’s seat of the Acadia, retrieved a knife, and stabbed the victim, who was standing next to the open driver’s side door.
The suspect then sped away. The victim and his relative got back into their car and followed the suspect onto Commonwealth Avenue and several side streets before losing him. The victims called 911 and the man who was stabbed was transported by Boston EMS to Tufts Medical Center. He is expected to recover from his stab wound.
State Police report their investigation into the incident led them to obtain an arrest warrant for Irizarry, on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery and driving without a license. He is now locked up again for violating parole as he awaits arraignment on the new charges, police say.
Irizarry had been sentenced to life, but with the possibility of parole, following his conviction in 2001 for shooting a rival gang member twice in the abdomen outside a Lawrence pizza place on April 16, 2000, following a beef over marijuana sales.
In 2016, the state parole board rejected his parole request, in part because of a prison record that included "inciting riots and abusing correctional officers," according to the board's decision that year - which acknowledged he had seemed to turn away from prison gang life in 2009, after his mother fell ill, which made him realize how pointless the gang life was.
Four years later, on June 1, 2020, the board voted unanimously to grant parole, because of his age at the time of the murder, his "substantial rehabilitative progress" and letters and testimony on his behalf.
The board pointed to his readiness to participate in "available work, educational and treatment programs" while in prison, in its decision. Also:
Throughout the hearing [in March], he was able to articulate as to how he has been rehabilitated often providing concrete examples of it. Mr. Irizarry presented a strong parole plans and has significant amount of support in the community.
He was released to a home in Dorchester, with several conditions, including a 10 p.m. curfew and that he wear a GPS monitoring device.