01/01/10 Bourne Hit & Run
Posted in the Plymouth Forum
#1 Jan 2, 2010
January 02, 2010BOURNE The police are searching for the hit-and-run driver of a Ford Explorer that struck and killed a 17-year-old Wareham boy early yesterday morning.
The body of Andrew J. Dexter Jr. was found behind a guard rail on the westbound side of Head of the Bay Road at 8:10 a.m., Bourne police Sgt. Dennis Woodside said.
The police believe Dexter had been hit five-to-six hours earlier.
"He was a good kid, a hard worker. He worked really, really hard at everything he did," said his father, Andrew J. Dexter Sr., in a telephone interview last night at the Buzzards Bay home of the teen's paternal grandmother.
Loved ones were mourning a boy his father called "a happy kid who always wanted the best."
"This kid was going to go places. He was going to outshine me ten-fold," Dexter said.
Police officers woke up Dexter yesterday morning at around 10 a.m. with the worst possible news for any parent.
Dexter said his son had been living with his mother in Plymouth, but he wanted to be with friends in Bourne on New Year's Eve. He left the house in Bourne at 2:30 a.m. to walk to his father's home in Wareham.
The teen had only recently decided to live with his mother, his father said, and "the door was always open."
At some time between 2:30 and 3:15 a.m., a Ford Explorer traveling in the same direction as the teen along Head of the Bay Road struck the young man, according to the police.
The boy's body was crushed between the SUV and the guard rail, Woodside said. The teen was then pulled along between the SUV and guard rail for a few feet, before landing on the other side of the guard rail, Woodside said.
A pedestrian discovered the teen's body five or six hours later. As far as the police know, no witnesses saw the crash, Woodside said.
"It's just wrong. How do you hit someone and keep going?" Dexter's father asked.
Based on damaged vehicle parts found at the scene, the police believe the hit-and-run suspect was driving a 2002 to 2004 Ford Explorer of a tannish color, though it may be a two-tone vehicle, Woodside said.
Dexter's father was devastated last night, wishing only that his son had called for a ride.
But Andrew J. Dexter Jr. was independent. Recently, he dropped out of Upper Cape Regional Technical School in Bourne to go to night school and work in the family business. Dexter said his son wanted to succeed.
"He's a kid that will never grow up to be a man because somebody hit him and took his life away from him and all of us," Dexter said.
The hit-and-run suspect's SUV has front-end damage, likely on the passenger side of the vehicle, the police said.
"If anyone knows of a vehicle with this type of damage, please call us," Woodside said.
The Bourne police can be contacted at 508-759-4451.
#2 Jan 5, 2010
Cape Cod Times/Merrily LunsfordBy MATTHEW M. BURKE
January 05, 2010BUZZARDS BAY Despite the insistence of her parents, Kayleigh Dexter, 14, did not want to go shopping for her birthday yesterday.
Instead, she wanted justice for her 17-year-old brother, Andrew J. Dexter Jr., killed in a hit-and-run crash in the early morning hours on New Year's Day.
"Today's horrible," Kayleigh said with tears in her eyes as she stood in the kitchen of the family's Buzzards Bay home, surrounded by family and friends who shared stories of a young life cut short. "He was the most amazing brother you could have.... The ultimate birthday gift would be for this person to turn themselves in today, except for Andrew walking and saying,'Ha ha, fooled ya.'"
And although Kayleigh did not get her birthday wish, there is hope. The police impounded a blue Ford Explorer from off-Cape yesterday afternoon that they suspect was involved in the crash, Bourne Police Chief Earl Baldwin said. Officers obtained a warrant for the vehicle, which was brought to the department on a flatbed truck, covered in snow, after someone called in a tip on its owner.
The SUV is registered to Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth, according to public records. Baldwin declined to say whether or not the owner of the vehicle was believed to have been driving at the time of the crash.
As the vehicle was brought in, it was evident it had a cracked passenger-side headlight, a cracked front bumper, a large dent on the passenger side and a deep scratch down the passenger side.
Detective Sgt. Richard Silvestro said that the State Police Crash Reconstruction Team's forensic investigators would begin processing the vehicle immediately.
Shortly after the vehicle was brought to the department, Baldwin announced that a "person of interest" would be arriving shortly with her lawyer to be interviewed by police. Police declined to identify the young woman last night, and she was hustled into the station through a back door. Her lawyer, Augustus Wagner Jr. of Hyannis, would not comment as he entered behind her.
No one under arrest
As of last night, nobody had been placed under arrest for Dexter's death, Bourne police Sgt. Dennis Woodside said. Mastandrea could not be reached for comment, as no phone number was listed.
Woodside also said last night that the woman who had been interviewed was no longer at the police station and that a press release would be issued this morning.
Police might be building a case against the person responsible for taking the Buzzards Bay teenager's life, but his family said that they have been left with a permanent void that will never be filled.
#3 Jan 6, 2010
Merrily LunsfordBy MATTHEW M. BURKE
January 06, 2010BUZZARDS BAY A Plymouth woman questioned Monday as a "person of interest" in the New Year's Day hit-and-run crash that killed a Buzzards Bay teen is the owner of the damaged blue Ford Explorer impounded in the case, the police have confirmed.
Bourne Police Chief Earl Baldwin said yesterday morning that the woman questioned in the death of 17-year-old Andrew J. Dexter Jr. was Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth.
No one answered the door at Mastandrea's Plymouth home yesterday morning. Her phone number is not listed.
As of last night, no arrests had been made in the case, the police said.
Mastandrea left the police station Monday after refusing to answer questions posed by the police on the advice of her lawyer, Augustus Wagner Jr. of Hyannis, Baldwin said. He added that others had been questioned by the police.
The police impounded Mastandrea's vehicle on a warrant acting on a tip, Baldwin said. As the vehicle was brought in, it was evident the SUV had a cracked passenger-side headlight, a cracked front bumper, a large dent on the passenger side and a deep scratch down the passenger side.
The State Police Crash Reconstruction Team's forensic investigators are processing the vehicle, the Bourne police have said. A state police spokesman referred all questions to the Bourne police yesterday afternoon. The Bourne police declined to comment on the vehicle.
Dexter's body was found behind a guardrail on the westbound side of Head of the Bay Road at about 8:10 the morning of New Year's Day by James Thomas, 47, of Plymouth, who was walking to work, the police and Thomas have said. Dexter left a New Year's Eve party in Bourne around 2:30 a.m. and was on his way home when a Ford Explorer traveling in the same direction struck him, crushing him between the SUV and guardrail, according to the Bourne police.
The police used cell phone records to estimate the time of the crash as between 2:40 and 3:15 a.m., and investigators used damaged vehicle parts left at the scene to determine what type of vehicle they were looking for.
John Ford, the town's former police chief and current chairman of the board of selectmen, said hit-and-run cases are difficult to build because, after the driver leaves the scene, it is difficult for the police to determine who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.
Staff writer Aaron Gouveia contributed to this report.
#4 Jan 7, 2010
By MATTHEW M. BURKE
January 07, 2010BUZZARDS BAY The Plymouth woman who was questioned by police as a "person of interest" in the New Year's Day hit-and-run death of a Buzzards Bay teen works as a waitress at a popular Main Street restaurant and bar located near the crash scene, according to multiple town sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth, was questioned Monday afternoon at the Bourne police station in the hit-and-run death of Andrew J. Dexter Jr., 17, the police have said. She was accompanied by her attorney, Augustus Wagner Jr. of Hyannis and, on the advice of counsel, declined to answer any questions.
Police question woman in fatal Bourne crashMastandrea is a waitress at the Mezza Luna restaurant, just down the road from Belmont Circle and Head of the Bay Road, where the fatal accident occurred.
As of last night, no one had been charged in connection with Dexter's death, the police said.
The restaurant, which is owned by E.J. Cubellis, has been a Buzzards Bay staple for more than 70 years and has been a favorite lunch and dinner destination for local politicians and residents alike. It reopened in April of last year after a fire in 2007 burned it to the ground.
The Bourne police would neither confirm nor deny yesterday that Mastandrea worked at the restaurant.
Mastandrea could not be reached for comment, and Cubellis did not return messages left for him at his home and business Tuesday.
A woman who answered the phone at the Mezza Luna Tuesday said Mastandrea was not working. Another employee ushered a Times reporter out of the restaurant shortly afterwards and said Cubellis "would not be commenting anyway."
Dexter left a New Year's Eve party in Bourne around 2:30 a.m. and was on his way home when a Ford Explorer traveling in the same direction struck him, crushing him between the SUV and guardrail, according to the police. His body was found behind the guardrail at about 8:10 a.m. New Year's Day by James Thomas, 47, of Plymouth, who was walking to work.
The Bourne police used cell phone records to estimate the time of the crash as between 2:40 and 3:15 a.m., and investigators used damaged vehicle parts left at the scene to determine what type of vehicle they were looking for.
Mastandrea arrived at the police station Monday shortly after police officials brought in her damaged blue Ford Explorer.
The vehicle was impounded on a warrant after a tipster led police to want to question Mastandrea.
The SUV has a cracked passenger-side headlight and front bumper as well as passenger-side dents and scratches.
#5 Jan 21, 2010
Cod Times/Merrily LunsfordBy MATTHEW M. BURKE
January 21, 2010BOURNE The Plymouth woman police have called a "person of interest" in the fatal New Year's Day hit-and-run death of a Buzzards Bay teen had her registration to drive the vehicle allegedly involved in the crash revoked in September for failure to provide auto insurance.
Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth was interviewed by the Bourne police Jan. 4 at the police station shortly after her damaged blue Ford Explorer was impounded on a warrant. The police, investigating the early morning death of 17-year-old Andrew J. Dexter Jr., said a tipster led them to Mastandrea.
When it was impounded, the SUV had a cracked passenger-side headlight and front bumper as well as passenger-side dents and scratches. The police said at the time the vehicle was impounded that they believed the vehicle was involved in the hit-and-run crash.
No one has been charged in the case. Mastandrea, a young mother who works as a waitress at the Mezza Luna restaurant just down the street from the Head of the Bay Road site where the fatal crash occurred, refused to answer questions during police questioning on the advice of her attorney.
E.J. Cubellis, owner of the Mezza Luna, has also declined to comment.
Registry of Motor Vehicles officials confirmed yesterday that Mastandrea's registration was revoked Sept. 14 for failure to insure her vehicle. Registry spokeswoman Ann Dufresne said Mastandrea has a history of insurance cancellations and was "found responsible" for a Bourne speeding ticket in 2007. Mastandrea did not pay that ticket by the deadline, and as a result, had her license suspended for "a couple of days" until she paid the ticket on Feb. 20, 2008, Dufresne said.
Bourne Police Chief Earl Baldwin said yesterday that investigators are still working on the hit-and-run case. He has said previously that the police have interviewed others in the case.
Dexter left a New Year's Eve party in Bourne around 2:30 a.m. and was on his way home when a Ford Explorer traveling in the same direction struck him, crushing him between the SUV and a guardrail, the police have said. His body was found behind the guardrail at about 8:10 a.m. New Year's Day.
The police used cell phone records to estimate the time of the crash as between 2:40 and 3:15 a.m. Investigators used damaged-vehicle parts left at the scene to determine what type of vehicle they were looking for.
#6 Jan 23, 2010
January 23, 2010BUZZARDS BAY It has been three weeks since Judith and Bruce Treadwell's 17-year-old grandson, Andrew J. Dexter Jr., was killed in a hit-and-run crash, but not a day goes by when they don't think about him.
Judith Treadwell wiped tears from her eyes yesterday at a Buzzards Bay coffee shop, not far from where an SUV struck Dexter in the early morning hours on New Year's Day. She described breaking down recently after buying the book, "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch, for a friend who was having a baby.
She recalled reading the book with her grandson when he was younger and hearing him say, "I love you forever. I'll love you for always. As long as I'm living, my Nana you'll be."
Dexter left a New Year's Eve party in Bourne around 2:30 a.m. and was walking home when a Ford Explorer traveling in the same direction struck him, crushing him between the SUV and a guardrail, the police have said. His body was found behind the guardrail at about 8:10 a.m. New Year's Day.
The police used cell phone records to estimate the time of the crash as between 2:40 and 3:15 a.m. Investigators said damaged-vehicle parts helped to determine the type of vehicle involved.
The Wareham couple reminisced about their grandson over pictures, vented their frustration that no one has yet been held accountable for his death, and pleaded with the person responsible for taking Andrew's life to take responsibility and ease their pain.
"It's been a whirlwind of a few weeks," Judith Treadwell said. "It's frustrating because we're not getting anywhere (in the investigation).... It doesn't seem like it should take this long to put the pieces together.... There's always going to be pain. I don't want revenge, I just want them to be responsible. In my mind, I can't conceive someone not being responsible after doing something like that."
The pain was evident in Bruce Treadwell's eyes, too. His wife said that he had lost his surfing buddy.
"He made us so happy," Bruce Treadwell said of his grandson. "He was so fun to hang around with. He was always happy, playing practical jokes.... Some things you never think would happen, but it just kills you."
No one has been charged in Dexter's death, but the police have been conducting interviews, Bourne Police Chief Earl Baldwin has said.
Baldwin was unavailable for comment yesterday.
On Jan. 4, Bourne police took a damaged SUV from Packard Street in Plymouth into their custody on a warrant, and they attempted to question its owner, Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Plymouth.
Mastandrea works as a waitress at the Mezza Luna restaurant on Main Street, near where the crash took place. She refused to talk to the police and was free to go.
Yesterday, Judith Treadwell questioned why Mastandrea had been released. She questioned why the police had not looked at the people who hosted the party her grandson attended. She even questioned decisions made by members of her own family.
So far, authorities have released little information on the case. Cape and Islands First Assistant District Attorney Brian Glenny said yesterday that the investigation is ongoing. He declined to comment further.
Bruce Treadwell said he was being patient with the police.
"I would rather wait and have (the investigation) done right than make a mistake," he said. "I can understand."
#7 Jan 23, 2010
Father Wants Closure In Son's Hit & Run
WBZ TV38 Boston
The father of a Wareham teen killed in a hit-and-run crash on New Year's Day wants closure in the case, but adds that police are "doing a fantastic job."
17-year-old Andrew Dexter's body was found behind a guardrail on Head of the Bay Road in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 in Bourne.
A driver hit him and drove off.
Days later, Bourne police impounded a Ford Explorer that may have been involved in the crash.
The owner, 28-year-old Andrea Mastandrea of Plymouth, was questioned in connection with the accident.
No charges have yet been filed.
"I was thinking it would not be long for an arrest," Dexter's father Dennis told WBZ Saturday.
However, with attorneys involved, Dennis Dexter says "you can't get a full story" yet.
"I firmly believe it's all going to come out," he says.
"I wouldn't want to jump to any conclusions until all the facts are out."
"Whover it is, I hope it never happens to them. It's the worst feeling in the world."
Dexter says the driver has now had 23 days to come forward.
"Our son didn't even have 23 seconds to say good-bye to one person," he says.
Dexter has nothing but praise for Bourne police, who will not comment until their investigation is complete.
"I firmly believe the police are doing the job to the best of their ability."
"I'm in constant contact with the police and they tell me they're in the right direction. I believe them."
"They're really good to us."
#8 Jan 29, 2010
Friday January 29, 2010 Cape Cod
By MATTHEW M. BURKE
January 29, 2010PLYMOUTH The SUV that investigators believe struck and killed a Buzzards Bay teen in a hit-and-run crash early New Year's Day has been released by the police.
The police have not made any arrests in the death of Andrew J. Dexter Jr., 17, who was struck from behind as he walked on Head of the Bay Road in Buzzards Bay. However, several days after the crash, the police identified a "person of interest" in the case, Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth.
Grandparents seek justice in fatal crashSuspected SUV unregisteredThe police obtained a warrant and impounded her blue Ford Explorer on Jan. 4. The SUV, which had significant front-end and side damage, was taken from a Packard Street address in Plymouth, less than five miles from the crash site. The vehicle was then processed by state police forensic investigators.
At the time the vehicle was impounded, the Bourne police said they believed the SUV, which was unregistered and uninsured, was involved in the crash, and they tried unsuccessfully to interview Mastandrea. She works as a waitress at Mezza Luna restaurant on Main Street in Buzzards Bay, less than a mile from Head of the Bay Road. Mastandrea refused to answer questions by the police, Bourne police Chief Earl Baldwin said at the time, and she was released.
Yesterday, the still-damaged vehicle was back at the Packard Street home, which is owned by Derek Griffith, 30, according to public records. No one answered the door at the home yesterday afternoon.
Registry spokeswoman Ann Dufresne did not return messages yesterday afternoon for an update on the status of the vehicle.
Baldwin and detectives working the case did not return messages left for them yesterday. But the slain teen's father, Andrew J. Dexter Sr. of Wareham, said he learned the vehicle was released Wednesday night. He said police confirmed it to him yesterday. "I'm trying to be patient with the police," Dexter said. "They're doing the best they can...(But) why are they releasing it?"
Dexter said his life has been irreparably damaged by the loss of his son, and he is being patient, hoping the police will close the case soon.
#9 Feb 11, 2010
Sunday vigil planned for Buzzards Bay teenText
February 11, 2010BUZZARDS BAY Family and friends have organized a vigil for Andrew J. Dexter Jr., the teen killed in a New Year's Day hit-and-run crash.
The vigil is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the gazebo in Buzzards Bay Park.
"It's been a long time six weeks-plus," said Andrew J. Dexter Sr., the teen's father.
The vigil is a way to provide support to family and friends still mourning his loss. "We also want to show the police that we know they are doing their best," Dexter said. "We just want to keep it in the forefront, so that people don't forget about it. We want to get justice for Andrew."
Sources have told the Times that a Barnstable County Grand Jury has heard evidence in the case. No indictments have been handed up and no arrest has been made.
Three days after Dexter was struck and killed along Head of the Bay Road, the Bourne police seized an SUV owned by Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Plymouth. She refused to answer the police's questions about the crash.
Dexter said he received a permit from the town yesterday for Sunday's event. Coffee, cocoa and light refreshments will be available.
"We'll light a candle in his memory and offer support for getting the truth to come out," he said.
#10 Feb 15, 2010
By CYNTHIA McCORMICK
February 15, 2010More than 200 people attended yesterday's afternoon vigil for a Buzzards Bay teen killed in an early New Year's Day hit-and-run.
Family and friends grieving for 17-year-old Andrew J. Dexter Jr. wore gray sweatshirts memorializing the teen in name and photograph. Many who gathered at the gazebo in Buzzards Bay Park carried placards reading "Justice for Andrew."
Supporters said they wanted to keep the case in the public eye. No one has been arrested, but Bourne police seized an SUV belonging to Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Plymouth three days after Dexter was struck and killed along Head
of the Bay Road.
"We're here just to show support for his family so we can have justice for Andrew so he rests in peace," said Stephanie Puopolo, 19, of Plymouth, who stood with a group of young people she described as Dexter's friends.
"We all miss him terribly," said Dexter's grandfather Dennis Dexter of Wareham. "The hardest part is not knowing who did it. How could somebody do this? How can you put your head on the pillow" and sleep at night? he asked.
Dexter's father, Andrew J. Dexter Sr. of Buzzards Bay, said he doesn't want people to forget what happened to the teen, who worked for the family's medical supply business in Wareham.
"I will speak publicly every day until it's over," he said. "I'm not going to back down."
Musicians performed and people drank cocoa and coffee while consoling each other.
Also attending the vigil was James Thomas of Plymouth, who discovered Dexter's body while walking to work at Ocean State Job Lot.
He said he normally drives to work but that morning he walked and saw clothing by a guardrail on a secluded section of roadway. He said he looked over the guardrail and saw legs and boots and called 911, hoping what he saw wasn't a body.
"I have six kids of my own, and I really feel for the family," Thomas said. "It's just a shock. I don't want to see that happen to anybody."
Police have said Dexter was struck from behind as he walked along the road some time after 2:30 a.m. after leaving a New Year's Eve party.
Mastandrea worked as a waitress at Mezza Luna restaurant on Main Street in Buzzards Bay, less than a mile from Head of the Bay Road. After the crash the police impounded her blue Ford Explorer, which had significant front-end and side damage.
Sources have told the Times that a Barnstable County grand jury has heard evidence in the case.
#11 Feb 23, 2010
There's a Facebook memorial page for Andrew J. Dexter. On Facebook search "Andrew J. Dexter" and it should come right up.
#12 Feb 25, 2010
By George Brennan
February 04, 2010BUZZARDS BAY Grand jurors heard evidence Friday in the hit-and-run death of a Buzzards Bay teen early New Year's Day, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.
No indictments were returned that day in the death of Andrew J. Dexter Jr., 17, of Buzzards Bay. Cape and Islands First Assistant District Attorney Michael Trudeau, who declined to confirm the Barnstable County grand jury probe, said the investigation is progressing.
Facebook axes crash victim's memorial pageBourne police release damaged SUVGrandparents seek justice in fatal crashSuspected SUV unregistered"Person of interest" in fatal accident works near crash scenePolice question woman in fatal Bourne crash"We have some good information," Bourne Police Chief Earl Baldwin said. He also declined to comment on whether a grand jury, which is secretive in nature, is hearing the case.
Baldwin said he's optimistic a charge will be issued soon.
"We haven't hit a dead end yet," he said.
Dexter was killed sometime after 2:30 a.m. as he walked home along Head of the Bay Road in Buzzards Bay after leaving a New Year's Eve party. The vehicle that hit him sped off, leaving the mortally injured teen at the side of the road, where he was found the next morning by a passer-by.
#13 Feb 25, 2010
By George Brennan
February 04, 2010BUZZARDS BAY
Three days after the crash, the police impounded a Ford Explorer owned by Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth, identified as a "person of interest" by investigators. The police retrieved the SUV from the Packard Street residence of Derek Griffith, 30, on Jan. 4, according to records.
Mastandrea, who worked as waitress at Mezza Luna Restaurant in Buzzards Bay, and Griffith, a longtime chef at the same restaurant, were married by a justice of the peace in Plymouth Thursday, one day before the grand jury convened.
They applied for the license Jan. 25, according to records, and told Plymouth Town Clerk Laurence Pizer they wanted to get married that Thursday. Massachusetts has a three-day waiting period for marriages.
Even after two justices were unavailable and Pizer said he couldn't do the service until late that night, the couple insisted they wanted the nuptials completed Thursday, Pizer said yesterday.
"It's not unusual for people to specify a day," said Pizer, who has officiated at 503 weddings. "There was nothing unusual at the wedding. They seemed to be very happy to be getting married."
Andrew Dexter Sr., the father of the teen killed, said he is concerned that the wedding was timed to prevent one of them from testifying before the grand jury.
"It appears like someone has something to hide," he said.
Experts: Privilege is limited
Legal experts say spousal privilege cannot be invoked in grand jury proceedings.
David Frank, a former prosecutor and reporter for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, said the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2006 that the wife of a murder suspect could be compelled to testify before a grand jury.
Spousal privilege could come in to play if a case makes it to trial, Frank said.
"(A spouse) can use it to attempt not to testify," he said, "but ultimately it's up to a judge."
Though it's unclear whether Mastandrea still works at Mezza Luna she lists "at home" as her occupation on the marriage certificate Griffith has been employed at the Buzzards Bay eatery for years, according to the Times archives.
No one answered the door at the Packard Street address yesterday. The damaged Explorer was parked in the driveway.
A hostess at the restaurant said yesterday that E.J. Cubellis, the Mezza Luna owner, and Griffith would have no comment. It's the same answer Cubellis has given repeatedly in the month since the crash.
The restaurant's response to inquiries is disappointing to Dexter.
"It's upsetting," he said. "When this restaurant, where these people worked, burned down, the whole town rallied around them, and now we can't get any help from the people there."
Dexter said he knows police investigators are doing all they can to charge someone in his son's death, but it's frustrating to wait.
"I'm having the hardest time functioning on a day-to-day basis," he said. "It's just horr
#14 Feb 25, 2010
Facebook axes crash victim's memorial
By Aaron Gouveia
February 25, 2010BUZZARDS BAY Nothing can erase the pain of losing a child in a hit-and-run accident. But Andrew Dexter Sr. said reading the outpouring of love and support on his son's Facebook memorial page helped him cope with the death.
That was until last week, when the memorial page for 17-year-old Andrew Dexter Jr. suddenly vanished.
Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, eliminated the group "R.I.P. Andrew Dexter Jr. for allegedly violating guidelines regarding personal attacks and "hateful, threatening, or obscene" comments, according to an e-mail from Facebook officials to Dexter on Feb. 17. The memorial page, according to posts reviewed by the Times, had comments about a young woman who owned the car the police believe hit Dexter.
Dexter said his son's memorial page had 1,800 members when it was taken offline and more than a month's worth of pictures and remembrances are now gone.
#15 Feb 25, 2010
Facebook axes crash victim's memorial
"I was disgusted that Facebook would take down a memorial page for my son," Dexter said when reached by phone yesterday. "I was going there constantly to read all the nice things people left there, and it really helped keep me strong."
Andrew Dexter Jr. was killed in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 as he walked home along Head of the Bay Road in Buzzards Bay. He left a New Year's Eve party some time after 2:30 p.m. and was hit by an SUV that never stopped to check on Dexter or call police. Dexter's body was found the next morning by a man on his way to work.
Three days after the crash, police questioned Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Pleasant Street in Plymouth, as a "person of interest," police said. Mastandrea's Ford Explorer was found at the Packard Street residence of Derek Griffith, 30, of Plymouth, and had front-end damage, police said.
Mastandrea, who worked as a waitress at Mezza Luna Restaurant in Buzzards Bay, and Griffith, a longtime chef at the same restaurant, were married by a justice of the peace in Plymouth earlier this month, just one day before a grand jury heard evidence regarding Dexter's death, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation.
As the number of members on Dexter's Facebook memorial page grew, so too did the resentment by friends and family, frustrated that no one has been arrested or charged yet.
Although most group members did not refer to Mastandrea by name, several people left comments such as "God never sleeps" and "Hell is waiting for them."
Also, because no one from the Mezza Luna has come forward to comment publicly on Dexter's death, some members initiated a boycott of the restaurant.
That's when Rachel Mastandrea, Andrea's sister, came to the defense of her sister on the Dexter message board and wrote, "I just want to say my sister did not do this so if you could keep your mouth shut about her that wouold (sic) be fortunate!
Four days later the site was taken down for good, the senior Dexter said.
Neither Rachel nor Andrea Mastandrea returned e-mails or phone messages seeking comment.
But while the Dexter memorial page was removed because it allegedly insulted a group or an individual, other group pages such as "(Expletive) the Police," "(Expletive) the Troops,"I Hate Jewsand multiple neo-Nazi fan pages are up and running.
Parry Aftab, executive director of Wired Safety and a privacy and security lawyer devoted to stemming cyber bullying, is part of Facebook's worldwide safety advisory board and said the company is "very strictwhen it comes to memorial pages.
Facebook only reviews sites that are reported to them, the New Jersey-based lawyer said, and never removes a page without justification.
"Memorial pages could be used to create real-life attacks, so if Facebook finds the page is being turned into a weapon, they'll step in and shut it down," Aftab said.
Aftab said many people don't realize Facebook is a private company and when people sign up, they accept all the terms of service which outline what people can and can't do. However, Aftab said there is also a middle ground.
"They could have taken down the offensive comments and not the entire memorial page," she said. "But it depends on what it said."
#16 Feb 25, 2010
Facebook axes crash victim's
New Facebook page
In the meantime, Dexter Sr. has already put up another Facebook memorial page dedicated to his son to replace the old one. He said he will personally review all of the comments to avoid name-calling and threats toward Mastandrea, so that hopefully the site will remain in place.
As of yesterday, the group had more than 600 members, including Pamela Holmes of Wareham, whose son was friends with Dexter Jr.
Holmes said she visited the Facebook page up to 20 times a day because it offered her comfort to read the positive things about Dexter Jr. But when Facebook shut it down she saw it as a slap in the face to a grieving family.
"For that poor family to lose their son and then have a month's worth of comments, love and support just gone I mean, are you kidding me?Holmes said. "Those are memories and things that get them through the day.
Keeping case in spotlight
As for Dexter Sr., he is determined to keep Andrew's face in the public eye for as long as it takes to find his killer, because his fear is that people will forget about Andrew if he doesn't push the issue.
"One of my biggest fears is this whole thing will get dragged along to the point where there will eventually be an arrest and people will say,'Hey, there was an arrest in the Dexter case,' and then someone says,'Who was that kid again?' "'
#17 Feb 26, 2010
Ford states it is hard to tell who was driving the car? I don't think so. The car was not reported stolen. The owner of the car, until she can prove that she was not driving the car is the driver.(Case CLosed) There is also a tool called a polygraph? This is a homicide isn't it? Good investigative principles are: When talking to people of interest, everything they tell you is taken as a lie. Until you can prove they are telling the truth. Also Gus Wagner,$25,000. plus, someone is covering their ass on this one. A $6.00 hr waitress gets Gus Wagner? Must be one hell-of-a waitress?
#18 Mar 9, 2010
#19 Mar 17, 2010
A 28-year-old Plymouth woman has been arrested in connection with the Jan. 1 hit-and-run death of 17-year-old Andrew J. Dexter Jr., Bourne police said this morning.
Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Plymouth, was arrested this morning on charges of homicide by negligent operation, leaving the scene of an accident after causing death and operation of an unregistered motor vehicle, reports the Cape Cod Times.
My first reaction was to cry, said Andrew Dexter, the teens dad.Im sad I lost my son, but Im happy the police worked so hard with the district attorneys office to get the person who left my son to die.
Andrew J. Dexter Jr. was hit in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 as he walked along Head of the Bay Road after leaving a New Years Eve party sometime around 2:30, police said. His body was found behind a guard rail on the westbound side of Head of the Bay Road at 8:10 a.m. by a passerby.
#20 Mar 17, 2010
BOURNE - Bourne Police escorted Andrea Mastandrea, 28, of Plymouth into Falmouth District Court Wednesday morning for her arraignment. Mastandrea has been arrested in connection with the January 1, 2010 hit and run death of 17-year-old Andrew Dexter Jr. of Wareham.
WCVB is reporting that Mastandrea has been charged with motor vehicle homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
Mastandrea's Ford Explorer was confiscated by Bourne Police three days after the accident. Above, the SUV was brought to Bourne by flatbed for inspection by police officials. David Curran video.
According to Bourne Police, Andrew Dexter was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on Head of the Bay Road in Bourne in the early morning hours of January 1st. His lifeless body was discovered behind a guardrail around 8 a.m. New Year's Day by a passerby. According to Bourne Police Sgt. Dennis Woodside, at the scene that day, it was apparent that Dexter was struck and crushed between the vehicle and the guardrail then dragged a considerable distance.
Evidence at the scene indicated that a 2002 to 2004 Ford Explorer SUV was involved in the accident.
Three days later, on January 4, 2010, Bourne Police seized a Ford Explorer with license plate number 498AF6 with obvious damage to the front passenger side. The owner of the SUV is Andrea Mastandrea of Plymouth. At the time Mastandrea was questioned, but no formal charges were filed.
We will update the story as more information becomes available.
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