Real Life Somerville Police Stories


Tasew Arrest

On 3/23/14 at approximately 3:05 am we were dispatched to Broadway (Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant) for a report of a fight in progress. When we
arrived we observed a white dodge sedan idling in front of the location with one occupant, the operator, in the vehicle. The operator was verbally interacting with two male individuals on the sidewalk. Officer attempted to make contact with the driver, by activating his emergency lights. The vehicle pulled away refusing to stop heading west on Broadway and without signaling aggressively turned right headed North in the wrong direction on Minnesota Ave.

Officer arrived on scene and proceeded in the direction of the fleeing vehicle in an attempt to locate it while myself. A short time later, Officer informed all units via radio that he had located the vehicle in question making a left turn from Cross St. East on to Broadway heading East. As Officer was about to activate his emergency lights to conduct a motor vehicle stop the white motor vehicle pull over to the side of the road . At this time, I approached the vehicle and observed the license plate of the vehicle in question. Upon my approach, the lone occupant, the operator,later identified as Atakilti Tasew exited the vehicle. I detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his person, his eyes were glassy and bloodshot and his speech was slurred as he was talking loudly and slumped against the left passenger door having difficulty standing on his own, with his pants belt undone and his pants sagging down below his waist. I informed Tasew that we were called to the area for a fight involving a gun and he stated that he had been hit in the face. I observed a small lump on his head between his eye brows that had a small amount of blood on it. I asked Tasew if he needed medical attention, but he refused. I asked Tasew why he fled when we attempted to stop him and he said “Do what you gotta do then”. I asked Tasew to provide me with his license and he responded incoherently “I don’t have a gun dog”.

As I asked Tasew questions involving the altercation he was very uncooperative. He continued to yell loudly and randomly making statements that had nothing to do with the topic of my questions. I asked him again why he left when we tried to stop him and he said “because I’m a god”. I asked Tasew if he had any identification on him and he said “yall have my shit I’m a dog”. I had probable cause to believe he was driving under the influence of alcohol and informed him that I would be conducting standardized field sobriety tests (SFTS) on him. Tasew responded by saying “I’m fine, so I was over there drinking so what” as he pointed at the store across the street. I asked him if he was refusing to perform (SFST) he replied “I’m a god you”.

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