In response to questions about the slaying of John “Jack” Fay Jr. in City Park and to neighborhood concerns over safety, Warwick Police will conduct a meeting Wednesday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the community room in headquarters.
“We understand the concerns people have,” Col. Stephen McCartney said yesterday.
The chief said members of the department, to the extent they can, would provide an update on their investigation and outline measures people can take to improve their safety.
McCartney said police personnel would “resist the Sherlock Holmes effect,” or speculation as to how the murder happened and whether it was a random or targeted action.
Such talk, he said, could jeopardize efforts to prosecute a suspect. As of yesterday, however, McCartney was unable to report any new leads in the investigation.
“We are talking to anybody and everybody,” the chief said. “We are still putting in a lot of effort and time.”
McCartney said he has received a number of calls and e-mails from City Park neighbors, which he has responded to on a personal basis. One of those area residents, who also contacted the Beacon, suggested the neighborhood meeting.
The resident, who asked to remain unnamed for fear of “repercussions,” said that she no longer takes morning walks in the park. She said she is not alone and that, since the discovery of Fay’s body stuffed into a trash barrel on May 18, more and more people are walking their dogs, jogging and riding their bikes on the street.
“Everybody is on edge,” she said.
Specifically, she wanted to learn from police how safe it is in the park, what measures are being taken to improve security and whether repeated visits by detectives to a house on Asylum Road is an indication police are narrowing in on a suspect.
“Does that mean they’re [a suspect] in the neighborhood?” she asked.
McCartney cautioned people not to speculate. At the same time, he urged people to come forward if they have information or they see or hear something that could be helpful to police.
He observed that, on the morning Fay was killed [police said it was May 17 between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m.], a woman heard someone screaming for help, but instead of calling police, told her sister. Police did not learn of that until after the discovery of Fay’s body.
McCartney suggested that people be sensitive to their surroundings. He thought it advisable that joggers and walkers have a partner when visiting secluded areas of the park. A possible outcome of next Wednesday’s meeting could be the formation of a neighborhood crime watch, he said.
In addition to himself, the chief said Major Raymond Gallucci, Captain Robert Nelson and community police officers would be in attendance.
A retired postal worker and regular runner, Fay, 66, lived alone. He was a Vietnam War Army veteran with a purple heart. His cause of death was blunt force trauma.