Well, the Needham Police have one less worry this morning–it looks like the United Nations Council for Human Rights won’t be investigating the arrest of Pizza Man (identified in today’s Herald and Globe as Hillel C. Neuer, 37, a prominent critic of that organization). The Herald adds to the list of facts that caused the jumpy employees of Stone Hearth Pizza to call in the SWAT Team: Neuer was “acting in distress, carrying several large bags and saying he wanted a taxi to Newton.” Let’s just hope none of these hypervigilantes ends up getting a job at the Chestnut Hill Mall or the Atrium: the police would have to establish a permanent command post there.
Did the police overreact? One can’t be too harsh on them, given the homicide in town earlier that day, and the 911 call reporting (incorrectly) that Neuer had a gun. If common sense prevails, the Norfolk DAs office and the Needham Police will choose not to press charges on Monday morning, and Mr. Neuer will go on his way. But that may be too much to ask. Watch to see whether the Needham PD press to get a release from Neuer–a move that would l only prolong this unfortunate drama.
“There should be reason to feel safe in Needham, and there’s no reason to be fearful right now,” Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating told reporters gathered at the town police station.” So reports the Boston Globe this morning.
Unless, apparently, you want to have a sprinkler system installed, or buy a pizza and use your cell phone at the same time. While we’ll just have to wait and see why William Dunn allegedly beat his 78-year old customer to death (Needham’s first murder since the grisly Beldotti case), the more interesting question focuses on the yet-unidentified man captured outside Needham’s Stone Hearth Pizza. According to the story, written by Ralph Ranalli and Lisa Kocian, a Stone Hearth employee called the police because of the customer’s extremely suspicious actions, to wit:
1. He appeared to be in his mid 30s;
2. He ordered a small pizza;
3. He ordered a soda (no size given);
4. He changed his clothes in the bathroom–evidently putting a suit on, judging from the photos;
5. He kept walking to the windows and looking outside; and
6. He talked on his cell phone.
So, admittedly, the change in clothes is a little odd, as Republican supporters of Greg Hyatt will no doubt recall, but was the rest of what he did worth turning Needham Center into a Dog Day Afternoon rerun for most of the afternoon?
Maybe our friend should have ordered the large pizza–as everyone knows, only real troublemakers order the small ones.