Dorchester Man Allegedly Beats Customer at Anna’s Taqueria for Ordering Too Slowly

Joseph Ward, a Brookline firefighter, has been placed on administrative leave.

Update: Tuesday, 1:45 p.m.

Ward pleaded not guilty in Brookline District Court Tuesday and was released without bail, reports the Brookline TAB. Prosecutor Jessica Brokaw asked Judge Mary Dacey White to set Ward’s bail at $10,000 in light of surveillance video of the incident, which she described as “quite violent, quite severe.”

Representing Ward was none other than Benjamin Urbellis, the Charlestown defense lawyer who made headlines this summer upon receiving an OUI for allegedly piloting his boat, Naut Guilty, around the Boston Harbor while drunk, and later showed up to court in a “BEAT L.A.” shirt. (The Suffolk Country D.A.’s office has since dropped the charge for causing serious bodily injury when it was determined Urbellis was not at the helm of the Naut Guilty when a 19-year-old woman fell overboard and had her arm severed below the shoulder by the boat’s propeller.)

Urbellis argued that Ward’s community ties and decision to wear a suit to court showed he takes the charges very seriously, the TAB reports. Ward is due back in court November 16.


A Brookline firefighter allegedly beat a man he believed was homeless for taking too long to order at Anna’s Taqueria.

Police arrived on Harvard Street around 10:45 p.m. Sunday on a report of assault and battery. A witness told police he saw a man call the victim a “homeless fuck” (another witness heard “homeless fucking asshole”) and punch him in the face outside Anna’s Taqueria, before raining a bottle, food, more fists, and a shod foot upon him, according to the police report obtained by the Brookline TAB

Joseph Ward, 37, of Dorchester, was charged with assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Both Ward and the victim told police the ordeal began when Ward, standing behind the victim in line, told him to hurry up with his order. Ward told police the victim had challenged him to a fight.

Police say Ward, a Brookline firefighter, denied using anything but his hands.

“The town is aware of Firefighter Ward’s arrest and has placed him on administrative leave immediately pending further investigation,” Town Administrator Mel Kleckner told the Brookline TABThe victim was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and treated for a cut on his eyebrow.