Over the course of the decade, Hyde Square — a family-oriented, working-class neighborhood — found itself increasingly threatened by turf warfare. African-Americans controlled the Bromley-Heath projects; Dominicans ran the drug trade on Mozart Street; the Puerto Rican X-Men dominated Egleston Square. And Slumlords burning down their properties for insurance money were blamed for as many as 200 arsons or suspicious fires in Jamaica Plain in the early-to-mid ‘80s.
Every day, Pulido took the bus to another universe: Madison Park High School, in Dudley Crossing. Newly opened in 1976, the school was the epitome of the desegregation effort, pulling in students from white and black neighborhoods alike. Its 2400 students were 45 percent black, 35 percent white, and 15 percent Hispanic.
Along with creating ethnically diverse classrooms, Madison Park mixed together active and future gang members from across the city. Pulido was the same age as the founders of a number of Boston gangs — Castlegate, HQ Block, X-Men, Corbet Street Crew, and Columbia Point Dogs — from neighborhoods that sent teens to Madison Park High.
It was at Madison Park that Pulido became friends with Victor Lozano, the man now believed to be the federal government’s informant. In high school, Lozano was already getting into trouble and was charged with gun possession during his senior year. Lozano (who, in Madison Park’s 1983 senior yearbook, listed as his ambition “to be a pharmacist”) was later convicted of drug trafficking, among other crimes.
Pulido’s name does not appear among any sports teams or activity clubs in Madison Park High School yearbooks. But his senior picture shows a handsome, smiling young man, in short Jeri curls and a mustache, sharply dressed in a collar and a tie. At least one girl was wooed: in his junior year, Pulido fathered his first child, Charity McNeil Pulido.
A man in uniform
Pulido worked sporadically after high school, and remained in the worsening gang world of Hyde Square until the age 21, when he married Karen Soares. At that point he moved into Soares’s Mission Hill home and he had a child with her. He joined the Marine Corps reserves in September 1988.
Things took a downward turn for Pulido. In 1991, he and his wife separated and eventually divorced. And soon after, his father, Emilio, died of stomach cancer. Pulido took an honorable discharge from the Marines, and moved back into his mother’s Hyde Park home on Edge Hill to help his mother raise his younger siblings. A few months later, the IRS issued him a federal tax lien for $1126.
Pulido joined the Boston Municipal Police in December 1992 and the MBTA police the next fall. He also met another woman, Evelyn “Reese” Tucker; they had their first child in 1993, and married the following year. He paid off the tax lien and they moved around the corner to an apartment on Walden Street.
But street violence was never far away. His new apartment was practically within the Bromley-Heath development, which was fast becoming a focal point of Boston violence. Its Heath Street gang was not only in hot rivalry with Academy Homes, its nemesis across Columbus Avenue, and with Mission Hill on the other side; it had also become entwined in a vicious network of alliances and disputes with nearby Roxbury gangs.