Police: Suspect hid in floating art project in Boston

A Shirley man was pulled off this floating art project, conceived by Fitchburg’s Revolving Museum’s founder Jerry Beck, that is moored in the Fort Point Channel in Boston harbor. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JERRY BECK)

BOSTON — A Shirley man who jumped off a Boston bridge after allegedly stealing a taxicab found refuge in a floating sculpture created by a Fitchburg museum, according to police and news reports.

William Thoresen, 29, jumped into Fort Point Channel early Wednesday morning and climbed onto a floating dock with a sculpture on it before being arrested, police told WCVB. The sculpture, “Create Coral Reef,” was conceived by Fitchburg artist Jerry Beck, founder of the Revolving Museum.

The colorful sculpture featuring sea creatures made of salvaged trash and tape. Made by 50 local artists, youth and community members, the sculpture was first floated in the channel adjacent to the Boston Harbor in October. However, the effort faltered when strong winds capsized the boat three days later.

Thoresen allegedly car-jacked a vehicle at South Station, according to the Boston Police Department.

A victim told police a man believed to be Thoresen forced him out of his taxicab and got into the car. The man then put the car into reverse, striking the victim with the open car door before driving forward and slamming the car into another cab, according to a press release.

Police said the man then drove the stolen car to the bridge where he stopped, got out and jumped off the eastern railing.

The Boston Police Harbor Patrol Unit, other officers, Boston EMS and Boston Fire responded to a call about a jumper.

A “short time” later, officers pulled the man, who declined medical treatment, from the water, according to the report.

Police say they believe Thoresen also broke into a building on South Street, sprayed a fire extinguisher then fled on foot.

According to the release, Thoresen, 29, will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges including car jacking, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering, two counts of willful and malicious destruction of property and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident causing personal injury.