Broadway Mugging Keeps It Old School

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Every once in a while, the road’s gritty past has to reach into the present.

Broadway has always be the Jan to Thames’ Marcia, the Daria to downtown’s Quinn, the Abbey to the waterfront’s Ziva. Broadway’s had a grit and character that many residents find appealing in comparison to the more mass-appeal orientation and hustle-and-bustle of Thames.

In the past decade and a half, Broadway has undergone an amazing transformation from a street full of dive bars, head shops, bumfights, tattoo parlors and that one VCR repair shop to a street full of boutique restaurants, head shops, tattoo parlors and that one VCR repair shop. While most of the seedier establishments have been replaced by more upscale, bohemian locales, Broadway can’t quite escape its past.

Case in point, as reported in the Newport Patch:

Newport Police arrested a 45-year-old Newport man on Wednesday who allegedly stole $51 cash out from the hand of a man who had just walked out of Ben’s Chili Dogs on Broadway on Monday afternoon.

Police said Thomas Robert Durand, 45, of 15 Meeting St., Newport, reportedly walked up to the victim and asked if he wanted to buy pills. When his offer was rejected, he reportedly snatched a pair of $20s, a $10 and a $1 bill from his hand and fled north on Broadway.

The victim, also of Newport, walked to Newport Police Headquarters a short distance away on Broadway to report the crime. He was intoxicated, police said, and told police that he didn’t know the robber’s name but knew who he was because he frequently hangs out on Broadway and goes by the nickname “Skinny Tommy.”

Our regular readers will recognize 15 Meeting Street as the #3 worst place in Newport to have a threesome. The unfortunate part of this story is its timelessness. That article could have been dated today or some time in 1996 and it’s doubtful anyone would be any the wiser.

As the weather warms up, we can all look forward to more “Skinny Tommys” coming out of hibernation, asking passers-by for their change and cigarettes and demonstrating to the tourists who come into town looking to party the real meaning of “drunk and disorderly”.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Broadway Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?