Hyde Park Man Held on $250,000 Bail for Brutal and Brazen Vehicular Homicide

At approximately 04:49 hours on Thursday, September 1, 2022, Boston Fire, Boston EMS and Boston Police Officers assigned to District E-13 responded to the intersection of Ritchie Street and Columbus Avenue in Jamaica Plain for a report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. According to numerous 911 callers, the pedestrian was struck and dragged before getting pinned under the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle who police have identified as 54-year-old, Maximo Mazanett of Hyde Park, did remain on scene and cooperated with investigators according to sources. The victim who has been identified as 39-year-old Thomas Ruffen, was pronounced deceased on scene by Boston EMS after a lengthy extrication by Boston Firefighters.

Due to the serious nature of the incident, the police supervisor on scene made full notifications. The Fatal Collision Investigation Team assisted by Homicide Detectives, Crime Scene Response Investigators, Command Staff members and the District Attorney’s Office were all alerted and began responding. Investigators could be seen marking evidence, photographing the area, surveying the street, inspecting the vehicle and reconstructing the crash for hours as the entire intersection remained closed.

Yesterday evening, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office announced that Mazanett, the operator of the vehicle in question was to be arranged this morning on charges of Murder in Roxbury District Court. “It is alleged that Manzette was driving the vehicle and was aware of the victim’s presence,” the DA’s office wrote in a statement.

In the video footage of the incident, the victim, Ruffen, began have difficulty walking and repeatedly fell eventually ending in the street in front of an intersection. The operator of an MBTA bus observed Ruffen lying on the right lane of roadway and came to a stop in the center lane. A 2011 Ford Explorer driven by Mazanett came to a stop immediately in front of Ruffen’s body.

Witnesses made statements to Mazanett that there was a person on the ground in front of his vehicle. Despite his knowledge that the victim was directly in front of his vehicle, prosecutors allege that Mazanett reversed his vehicle several feet, waited for the light to turn green and then drove over the victim’s body. The vehicle dragged the victim across four lanes. Mazanett again stopped his vehicle on the other side of the intersection, with the victim’s body beneath his vehicle.

Earlier today during Mazanett’s arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Mark Zanini requested Judge David Breen set bail in the amount of $250,000 which he did. Breen also ordered Mazanett to surrender his passport, not drive any motor vehicle and have no contact with any witness while his case is pending.

In a written statement, DA Hayden said, “The decisions made by this defendant are so heartless and pitiless they’re difficult to comprehend. Instead of waiting for an unusual roadway situation to be resolved he made the decision to drive forward, knowing full well the consequences involved. That unfathomable action ended the victim’s life and dramatically altered his own.”