Real Life Somerville Police Stories

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Denning Arrest

On Wednesday April 30th 2014,I, Officer, was in full uniform assigned to marked unit East-4 during the day shift. The following narrative is a supplemental report on the events that I witnessed.

At approximately 12:04pm I was notified via radio by (East-3), that he observed a male matching the description given of a suspect who had burglarized a house located at Virginia St. approximately 2 hours earlier. Officer and I approached the male, later identified as Michael Denning, at the intersection of Broadway and Glen St.

Denning was carrying a large green duffel bag. I explained to Denning the reason we were stopping him and told him to put his duffel bag on the sidewalk for officer safety. Denning complied, and I could see inside the open duffel bag three lengths of cut copper piping and several tools, including a hammer and hacksaw. I had knowledge that earlier that day there had been a report of a breaking and entering at Mt. Vernon St. and that copper piping had been cut from the building.

I asked Denning for consent to search his bag and he stated: “you can search my bag, but I don’t understand why you think it was me.” I searched Denning’s bag, and discovered several tools, three lengths of copper piping, some gold and silver jewelry inside the pocket of an orange jacket, a weapon commonly known as “brass knuckles”, and a mason jar full of change.

For officer safety, Denning was placed into handcuffs by Officer in a manner consistent with his training. A pat frisk for weapons revealed a box cutter inside Denning’s pocket.

I read Denning his Miranda rights from a pre-printed notepad. I asked Denning if he understood his Miranda rights, to which he replied yes. I asked Denning if he still wanted to speak to me with his Miranda rights in mind, to which he replied yes. The following statements were made by Denning in response to my questions about the items I found in his bag:

Brass knuckles – Stated that he bought it at a flea market

Copper pipes – Stated he had just found them in a dumpster from one of the several jobs occurring in the area. I asked him what street and he stated he did not know. He stated that a construction worker gave him permission to go into the dumpster and take the pipe. I asked him to describe the construction worker and he stated he didn’t remember what the construction worker looked like.

Mason jar full of change – stated that he had grabbed it just before leaving his house to pay for the train.

Jewelry – Denning stated that the jewelry was low value costume jewelry that he gave to his five year old daughter. I remarked that the rings looked adult sized, and he stated that his aunt had given him her jewelry.

I took possession of the copper pipes and went to Mt. Vernon St to try and match pipes to the pipes cut from the earlier B & E. I observed what appeared to be melted insulation on the copper pipes, consistent with the property on Mt. Vernon St., a house that had recently been subjected to a major house fire. I was unable to match the copper pipes to any cut pipes, largely due to the fact that the majority of the pipes in the house had been removed. I did observe that on some of the remaining copper piping the joint was made by a company called “NIBCO.” One of the copper pipes in Denning’s possession had a joint on it made by the same company.

I brought the copper piping to Officer and transferred possession of the evidence to him. I then checked the area near where Denning was stopped to try and locate the alleged dumpster he had found the pipes in, but was unable to find anything in the vicinity.

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