Real Life Somerville Police Stories

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Coughlin Arrest

On the above date at approximately 2100hrs, I, Ofc. was dispatched to the corner of Highland and Willow Ave for a MV accident. As I was exiting my
vehicle I could see a mass gather of people. Upon arrival, I was met by a few witnesses who stated and pointed at the suspect, Mr. Gregory Coughlin. Mr. Coughlin was standing outside of 339-341 Highland avenue.

Initial contact:
Along with the assistance of Sgt. and Ofc., we were able to untangle the situation and gather the information from each party’s vehicle involved on the damage that their vehicle had sustained. There was about 20 people gathered and looking from their homes adjacent to 339-341 Highland ave at the situation. Ofc. and Sgt. had gone to talk to the witness and the personnel whose cars were involved in the accident. I approached Mr. Coughlin and asked him what was going on? He states that he was coming back from Boston and that he was not wrecked and had a few beers. He states that he was not the type of guy to drink and drive. He further states that I could look up his record and that he was not a bad guy and this was his first time in cuffs. I asked him if the vehicle, Mass Reg, a black Toyota 4Runner was his and does he know that he was involved in a motor vehicle accident. The car was pulled over about 3-4 feet from the curb in front of Highland ave. This vehicle has heavy right front bumper damage to it and was not drive able. It was later towed from the scene.

At this time, I now asked Mr. Coughlin for his driver’s license which he was able to produce. I asked if anyone was present in the vehicle with him at the time of this accident. He replied “no.” I asked him if he had sustained any injuries and none were present on him at that time. Mr. Coughlin states that he suffered no injuries. It was at this time that I noticed that Mr. Coughlin had an apparent odor of alcohol on his breath. As I was talking to him he was glancing around to see what the witnesses and officers were doing. I observed that as we were walking in the tight space out front of 339-341 Highland ave that Mr. Coughlin had a slight sway in his step and stance. It was at this point that I asked Mr. Coughlin to come closer to 339 Highland ave on an even surface part of the sidewalk to administer, standard field sobriety tests.

I then asked him to hold his arms out and to reach with his index finger while his eyes are closed to touch the tip of his nose with the right index finger. He was able to do it but he was a little shaky on it touching the bottom brim of the nose both times with both different fingers. I concluded that Mr. Coughlin was on the borderline to pass this part of the exam.

I administered the One-Legged Stand. As Mr. Coughlin stood on the sidewalk. I then told him pick whichever leg he feels comfortable standing on to raise the opposite one six inches off the ground, foot pointed out. Keep both legs straight and keep your eyes on the elevated foot. He stood with his arms down by his side and counted from one thousand one to one thousand and eight at which point he stopped and staggered. He never looked down at his feet and at which point I determined that he did not pass this test.

I administered was the Walk and Turn. I instructed Mr. Coughlin that he was going to put his right foot directly in front of his left touching the heel-to -toe with his hands by his side throughout the entire test, which I demonstrated to him and told him to begin at his own time. He began the test and was going through the motions and I was looking down at his feet as he was counting out loud. I noticed that his heels never touched. I never saw his hand by his side. I then asked Mr. Coughlin to perform this part of the test once more alongside. Mr. Coughlin was not able to do the heel to toe, he counted in a manner 1,2,3,6,9,10,11 and walked back at the 12th pace which was really his six step and was a little flustered. He was still a little sway with his motions and gestures. At this point, it was obvious that Mr. Coughlin was not able to pass the walk and turn and I determined that he failed the exam.

It was now that I placed Mr. Coughlin, under arrest for operation under the influence.

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