For years, Boston Dawna has been a one-woman, bicycle-riding, crime-fighting machine in Venice, Calif., reports the Los Angeles Times. By her own estimate, she has initiated thousands of private citizen’s arrests of “thieves, burglars and robbers,” pouncing on them from bushes and restraining them with handcuffs she buys in bulk from the Pleasure Chest sex shop. Police scanner in hand, she has blown the whistle on bootleg apartment units and rousted backpack-toting vagrants. But come Sept. 15, Boston Dawna will be returning to her native Boston. The news has dismayed those residents who have come to rely on her nighttime patrols aboard her purple beach cruiser bicycle.
“When it comes to community policing, she’s one of the few I’ve come across in 23 years of being a police officer who really understands what that means,” said L.A. police Capt. Jon Peters. “She has been able to make her neighborhood safer.” The Neighborhood Watch block captain will depart amid a media whirl. A crime novelist would have to summon all her creative powers to limn a larger-than-life character like Boston Dawna. A chain-smoker with a voice like a rasp, she ceased using her full name and began spelling her given name, “Donna,” the way she pronounces it with her full-on Boston accent. By now, just about everybody in Venice who knows her calls her Boston Dawna.