Attack at Hingham park draws SWAT team; man arrested

HINGHAM – A homeless man who police say pointed a gun at and punched a man inside Bare Cove Park is being held without bail after he was tracked down by the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council SWAT team overnight Tuesday. Police are still searching for the gun, which had not been found as Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas Walwood, 55, formerly of Quincy, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery. He was arraigned in Hingham District Court on Wednesday and was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Monday when a judge will decide whether he poses a threat to the public.

Hingham police were sent to the park at about 10 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a 911 call from a homeless man who said he had been punched in the face and threatened with a gun by another man, Hingham police Sgt. Steven Dearth said. Police said the caller told them he and Walwood live in separate tents inside the park.

The alleged victim told police he knew his attacker, and that he had just given Walwood marijuana when Walwood picked up a handgun and became violent. The victim then said he was punched in the face, Dearth said. After calling 911, the victim hung up and turned off his cellphone.

The Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council SWAT team, police dogs and a drone were sent in to track down Walwood, who was found at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. Walwood did not have the gun on him when he was found by police, and investigators were still searching for it inside the 484-acre park.

Bare Cove is a public park that was open as usual Wednesday. The park is open during daylight hours only, and camping is not allowed. Hingham police say they will continue to patrol the park and remove anyone found to be camping.

“We try to keep a presence and discourage overnight camping, but if someone is determined to camp they probably aren’t doing it in a very visible area,” Dearth said. “Obviously, there has been other issues in there, but we continue to patrol the park.”

This was not the first instance of violence involving the homeless inside the park.

The badly decomposed bodies of two homeless men were found there in 2005.

William Chrapan and David Lyons were murdered by James S. Winquist, a former Hingham resident, and Eric Snow of Bridgewater, both members of a small neo-Nazi group calling itself the Brotherhood of Blood. Winquist’s conviction was upheld in 2015 and he is serving life in prison. Snow killed himself after his 2007 indictment but before his trial began.

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