On Sunday, February 16, 2014, I was on duty and assigned to marked Unit West-7. At approximately 8:05PM, I received a call from Officer Sean Browne. Officer Browne explained that
he and Officer D’Amelio had just noticed a gray Nissan Maxima bearing MA tag traveling eastbound past the Clarendon Hill Towers. Officer Browne believed the owner of the vehicle to be an associate of an individual with an outstanding arrest warrant and advised me to pay attention to the vehicle should I see it in the area.
At approximately 8:10PM, I observed the vehicle in question occupied by three individuals traveling on College Avenue towards Davis Square. At this point, approximately four vehicles separated me from the Maxima in traffic. I then noticed Officer Browne and D’Amelio’s unmarked cruiser in front of me approximately two vehicles away from the Maxima. Due to a red light, the vehicle came to a stop perpendicular to Morrison Avenue and remained there for a thirty to forty five seconds. Suddenly, I noticed the vehicle make a hard right turn onto Morrison Avenue. Seconds later traffic began to move as a result of the traffic light turning green. I turned left onto Morrison Avenue and saw the Maxima directly in front of me. The left license plate light was not functioning on the vehicle and as a result I activated my emergency lights to effect a motor vehicle stop for the defective equipment. As the vehicle was coming to a stop, I radioed it’s tag as well as my location into dispatch ( Morrison Avenue). Just as the Maxima stopped, I saw a male in the passenger’s seat as well as an occupant in the back seat move from side to side and front to back without ever turning around to look at me.
As I exited my cruiser, Officer Browne and D’Amelio pulled up behind me as backup. Officer Browne informed me to be careful as one of the occupants (who were unknown to me at this point) may be in possession of a weapon. I approached on the Driver’s side of the vehicle and saw a female operator as well as a male in the passenger’s seat and a male in the back seat. All of the occupants appeared nervous and at the time, I believed this nervousness was due to the strong order of marijuana emanating from the vehicles passenger compartment. I asked the female for her license and the vehicles registration and was able to identify her as Ms. Kayla Decareau (DOB:04/02/1995). She explained that she only had a learners permit and her boyfriend (the passenger) was teaching her how to drive. He provided me with his license and I went back to my cruiser to query their information in DCJIS.
As I inspected the permit, registration and license, I realized that I had recently received an Officer Safety Bulletin regarding the passenger and vehicle owner, Mr. Rudy Umana (DOB: 08/27/1995). That bulletin specifically identified Mr. Umana as possibly possessing a firearm. (This bulletin was sent by Christopher Wendt of the Somerville Police Department on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 10:08AM and a printed copy was submitted into evidence, tag #: 14005379) I then recalled the movements of Mr. Umana and the male passenger in the back seat as well as Officer Browne’s warning. I relayed my concerns to Officer Browne and D’Amelio regarding the moment of the occupants and became immediately concerned for my safety as well as other Officers and residents in nearby houses.
I approached the Maxima once again with my backup on each side of the vehicle, spoke briefly to the driver and passenger and instructed all of the occupants to exit the vehicle. Mr. Umana, Ms. Decareau and the back seat passenger, who was later identified as Mr. Martin Acosta (DOB: 12/15/1992), were asked to stand at the rear of the vehicle. I opened the rear driver’s side door, shined my flashlight inside and noticed what appeared to be the brown butt of a handgun under the passenger seat.
I reached inside and removed the firearm and upon seeing my discovery Mr. Umana turned and attempted to run away. Officer Browne and D’Amelio pursued him a short distance and were able to place him in hand cuffs after a brief struggle. As this was happening, I radioed into dispatch for more units to respond. I then secured Mr. Acosta and Ms. Decareau in handcuffs and informed them that they were under arrest. The weapon recovered was a black and brown Walther PPK (SN#: 024207) with a .380 caliber round in the chamber. The magazine of the weapon contained six .380 caliber rounds as well. Also on the floor of the back seat was a small bag of marijuana which was tagged into evidence (Tag #: 14005379-4).
Once they were secured, I spoke with all three occupants of the vehicle and none would tell me who the firearm belonged to. Mr. Umana and Mr. Acosta were transported to Somerville Police Headquarters in the prisoner transport vehicle by Officer Capasso and Ms. Decareau was transported to headquarters by Officer Browne. The recovered firearm was tagged into evidence (tag # 14005379-1) as well as the ammunition (tag #14005379-2). Additionally, Officer Jean-Jacques photographed the Maxima’s faulty plate light and will make the photograph available upon request. The Maxima was subsequently towed to Pat’s Towing incident to arrest.
After clearing the scene on Morrison Avenue, I returned to Somerville Police Headquarters. Detective DiFronzo informed me that he had interviewed Mr. Umana. Mr. Umana told him that the recovered Walther PPK belonged to Mr. Acosta and that he had actually tucked another firearm belonging to him under the passengers seat. Detective DiFronzo provided Mr. Umana with a consent to search form for his vehicle and Mr. Umana signed it. This form was tagged into evidence (tag #14005379-6) and immediately made my way to pats towing to inspect the area of the car that Mr. Umana claimed the gun was located. I shined my flashlight into a small gap between the vehicle’s door frame and seat and saw what appeared to be the butt of a black handgun. I was able to wedge my hand inside that area and recover a black Kel Tec 9mm firearm (SN#: SAC84). The weapon had a round in the chamber and six rounds in the magazine. I tagged the firearm into evidence (tag#: 14005379-3) and also tagged the 9mm bullets as well (tag#: 140174Z). A query of the weapon in DCJIS revealed that the weapon had been stolen from Norfolk, VA on August 12, 2013.
Mr. Umana is was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm with ammunition, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. Mr. Acosta was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm with ammunition and was issued citation #15103 (city ordinance) for possessing marijuana. Finally, Ms. Decareau was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm with ammunition and issued MA Uniform citation # R4232055 for the vehicle’s equipment defect.