After an Ugly Homeless Abuse Scandal, TD Garden Is Firing Allied

Contractor Allied Universal faced accusations that its guards used violence.

Boston, USA - June 9, 2012: A person walking past the TD Garden, also known as the Boston Garden, a multi purpose facility and home to the NHL Boston Bruins, and NBA Boston Celtics.

For too long, security guards at TD Garden allegedly removed the homeless from North Station by any means necessary, and management allegedly looked the other way when those means were violent and abusive. In an environment that was allowed to persist, some homeless men and women who frequented North Station were allegedly humiliated, beaten, berated, and dragged across the floor. One homeless man, police say, had his own cane smashed into his face.

That’s all according to bombshell reporting in the Globe, whose reporters uncovered an apparent pattern of abuse at the iconic venue under the oversight of a contractor called Allied Universal. Now, the Garden, owned by Delaware North, is hoping to move on. The Globe reported last night that the Garden is cutting ties with Allied for good.

The venue will now transition to a new security provider, and the process will be overseen by Ed Davis, the former Boston Police commissioner, the Globe reports.

This comes after security guards with the firm were instructed to overhaul procedure at their jobs, which apparently consisted largely of corralling and ejecting the homeless people—many of them repeat visitors and many of them in the throes of addiction—who congregate there for shelter. Following the report from the Globe, guards were instructed to let Transit Police know about problems on T property rather than responding themselves.

It also follows the arrest of Rene Norestant, Jr., the security guard accused of beating the man with a cane and fracturing his face. He’s been charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The whole thing has been an exceptionally ugly chapter at a time when the city is confronting a chronic shortage of affordable housing, an opioid crisis that shows no signs of ending any time soon, and drastic changes in the way it houses and cares for its most disadvantaged. Faced with a mountain of evidence that things had gone so terribly wrong, it looks like Delaware North did the right thing. Maybe it’s a sign of good things to come.