Crime /

Civil Rights Activist Jean McGuire Expected to Survive Stabbing in Boston Park

The 91-year-old's attacker has not yet been arrested

A 91-year-old woman known for her efforts to desegregate Boston schools is expected to survive being attacked while walking her dog.

Jean McGuire was stabbed multiple times in Franklin Park on Oct. 11 around 8:30 PM.

McGuire was stabbed 5 times. Her dog, Bailey, tried to fight off the attacker according to a statement from her sister. She was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where her injuries were considered “non-life-threatening.”

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden visited McGuire at the hospital on Oct. 12 and told the media she did not get a “complete view” of her attacker, per CBS News.

Police believe the perpetrator may have been injured during the attack. An arrest has not been made. Investigators have asked members of the public to provide any information about the stabbing that they may have. 

McGuire’s sister, Jeriline Brady-McGinnis, told WCVB that the male attacker knocked her to the ground and that McGuire believed he “was trying to rape her.”

“She said when he knocked her down, he was groping her and touching on her,” Brady-McGinnis said.

“My concern is, and I’m thanking Jesus she’s OK, she’s in one piece. I’m glad she’s the strong woman she is because she’s a very physical person, takes care of herself really well,” she added. “She won’t be walking alone again.”

McGuire was elected to the Boston School Committee in 1981 and was the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) executive director for over four decades. METCO sends minority students to predominately white suburban schools in the suburbs of Boston. 

Her family released a statement on Oct. 14 expressing gratitude for the medical staff caring for McGuire. 

“Jean has spent her entire professional life fighting for all families to have the best educational opportunities to achieve their dreams,” the family said. “In her words, ‘We as a community can never forget that we need to stand together and continue working to empower our children through learning. We are at our best as a people; when it’s about ‘we’ not ‘me.’ I love you all and I will see you soon.'”

The family added that people “looking to support Jean’s legacy” should make a donation to “a nonprofit fund currently in development that will help promote the education of the children of greater New England.”

“The family will make a formal announcement introducing the establishment of the fund in coming weeks,” the statement concluded.

McGuire’s attack came weeks after a teenager was fatally shot in the same area.

“I’m disgusted and angry to know that an elder in our community had to fear for her safety going about her daily routine, walking her dog,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, per NBC Boston

“Community policing is number one and we share the urgency to do more and be more proactive in safety across our neighborhoods,” she said, adding that her administration is committed to improving safety and increasing police visibility.

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