Suspect Arrested on Indecent Assault Charges in the South End

At about 9:39 PM, on Saturday, August 12, 2023, officers assigned to District D-4 (South End) responded to a radio call in the area of W. Canton Street and Appleton Street for an assault and battery in progress and a possible sexual assault that resulted in the arrest of Amos Sykes, 35, of Quincy on charges of Indecent Assault & Battery on a Person 14 or Over and Assault and Battery (Injuries).

Circumstances surrounding the incident are as follows: Several witnesses in the area heard the sound of a person screaming and observed the suspect, later identified as Sykes, punching a woman in the head as he sat on top of her. Officers arrived on scene and observed one of the witnesses fighting with Sykes, in an attempt to defend the victim. Sykes fled the scene on foot and was immediately apprehended.

The adult female victim had been walking on Columbus Avenue when the suspect grabbed her from behind, forced her onto the ground and began punching her in the head. The suspect attempted to take off the victims clothing before a witness stepped in to fight off Sykes. Boston EMS transported the victim to a local hospital suffering non-life threatening injuries.  Detectives from District D-4, along with the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit will continue to investigate the incident. Amos Sykes is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court.

The Boston Police Department would like to take this opportunity to offer some helpful safety tips to community members. Keep these tips in mind in an effort to protect you and your loved ones from becoming a victim of a crime of opportunity.

The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding these incidents. Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact District D-4 Detectives at (617) 343-5619 or The Sexual Assault Unit at (617) 343-4400.

Community members wishing to assist in this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help this investigation in an anonymous manner.

SAFETY TIP Ensuring Personal Safety

  • Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
  • When parking, walking or returning to your car, travel in well-lit and populated areas.
  • Wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.
  • Be watchful and aware. Keep your head up. Make quick eye contact with those around you and be observant of passing vehicles. Don’t become distracted by talking on a cell phone or listening to an iPod/similar device.
  • Avoid walking alone late at night. Walk with friends and people you know.
  • Keep a whistle within reach. If threatened, use the whistle to signal residents for help. Yelling “Fire!” “Help!” or “Rape!” are ways of drawing attention and alerting people of your situation.
  • Hold your car keys in your hand to use as a weapon against an attacker.
  • Carry a cell phone and call ahead to your destination to alert them that you’re on the way. Make sure you’re expected at a certain time, so in the event you fail to show up, those expecting you will know enough to begin looking for you.
  • Walk with confidence. Don’t let anyone violate your space. Trust your instincts. Anyone at anytime can be a victim of crime so never assume, “IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME.”
  • If an unarmed attacker confronts you, believe in your ability to defend, distract, or even incapacitate the attacker enough to escape.
  • If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk towards an open store, restaurant or residence.