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Czar of Cyncism and Satire
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Hero killed in pub clash
By Laurel J. Sweet, Franci Richardson, Jessica Fargen and Peter Gelzinis
Sunday, March 20, 2005

A heroic Suffolk County deputy sheriff trying to keep the peace in a landmark Charlestown bar was stabbed to death yesterday morning by a mentally disturbed hood who'd been out of jail only 22 days, authorities and sources said.

Police captured Francis Xavier ``Kicker'' Lang, 31 - son of Deborah Lang, beloved by townies as ``the mayor of Charlestown'' - hiding out at a friend's house on Elm Street after a 16-hour manhunt by Boston police.

``Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen,'' slain Sgt. Richard T. Dever's father, Bill Dever, told the Herald through tears. ``(Richard) was in the wrong place at the wrong time.''

``Richard Dever was an exemplary officer,'' said Sheriff Andrea Cabral, her voice quivering. ``His absence will be felt very deeply. He will be missed.''

Dever, 35, was allegedly murdered by Lang outside Sullivan's Pub on Main Street around 12:20 a.m.

``I don't think he even knew he'd been stabbed,'' said a shell-shocked friend of Dever, who declined to give his name.

Lang, also know to Dever's friend, had been barred from Sullivan's ``for a long time- for years,'' he said. ``He came in to try and get a drink. They wouldn't serve him.''

Sources said when Lang lost his temper, Dever tried to help get him out. What Dever got was a knife through the left side of his chest. Dever worked at the South Bay Correctional Facility where Lang was jailed several times since the early 1990s, but it was unclear if the two recognized each other.

``He stood out amongst inmates,'' a jail source said of Lang, infamous for his bad behavior. ``He was always in segregation. Think of the worst and that's him.''

Sources said police searched Deborah Lang's triple-decker and found two large submarine sandwiches and hair dye they suspect was meant to aid his escape. His mother declined comment.

Bill Dever said he was told his son didn't know that Lang had a knife when the fight broke out.

``I guess he just took out his frustrations on (Richard),'' Bill Dever said. Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said Dever was found in the back of the bar, where he was carried by patrons trying to save his life.

``We're all incredibly saddened by the loss of this extremely professional young law enforcement officer,'' O'Toole said.

``He didn't deserve it, that's for sure,'' said Dever's friend, who attended a private gathering at Sullivan's yesterday in Dever's honor. ``The kid's a great kid. He had a lot of friends.''

Dever grew up in Dorchester and graduated from Don Bosco High School. He had been with the Sheriff's Department since 1991.

Among the friends gathered to mourn him were the family of murdered state Trooper Mark Charbonnier, whose brother Steve, a Boston cop, Dever formerly roomed with. The Charbonniers knew the Langs, as well.

``Debbie is one of the nicest people I know - very involved with youth,'' said Pauline Charbonnier. ``She's a lifeguard at the Bunker Hill pool. I'm just shocked by all this.''

Lang grew up a street tough in Charlestown and ``had an awful struggle with drugs,'' including PCP, as well as wild mood swings and depression, sources said.

He spent much of his adult life in jail after pleading guilty to armed bank robbery in 1993 and violating his probation several times. He was released three weeks ago from federal prison after serving nearly five years on a charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

The conditions of Lang's probation included mental health counseling and drug treatment. The federal judge thought seriously of banning him from Charlestown as a condition of his probation, a source said.

Dever is survived by his parents, two brothers, Brendan and Tim, and a sister, Sheila.

``(He) lived everyday to the fullest,'' said Tim Dever. ``He had more friends than anyone I know.''

Ricky, a good man who will be sorely missed.

26 Posts
Sgt. Richard Dever


O'Connor Funeral Home

740 Adams Street

Dorchester, Ma

Monday, March 21st 7-9

Tuesday, March 22nd 2-4 & 7-9


St. Brendans Church

589 Galvin Boulevard

Dorchester, Ma

Wednesday, March 23rd, 9:00 a.m.
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