Real Life Somerville Police Stories


Franca arrest

I, Officer Joseph S. Teves, was working in full uniform assigned to marked cruiser East 1. At approximately 8:25 PM. I was dispatched to the area of Medford Street and Walnut Street for an alleged hit and run. While I was on my way to the intersection of Medford
and Walnut I received an update from Somerville Dispatch. I was informed that the striking vehicle involved in this incident was a white Ford Pickup truck. Moments later I was informed that the striking vehicle involved in this incident was now parked in the lot next to the gas station located at Medford Street and School Street. I was also informed that the operator of the motor vehicle exited the truck and began walking towards Central street. The description of the individual in question is as follows. ( Tall male wearing jeans and a T shirt ).

When I arrived on location I immediately noticed a white Ford F250 Parked in the lot adjacent to the Next Gas Station. The vehicle in question was pulled into the lot and parked up against the loading dock. I would like to note that the operator exited the vehicle and fled the area in such a rush that he did not bother turning off the vehicles fog lights. While I was on location I was approached by a male who would be identified as the victim in this incident. The victim walked over to the white Ford F250 and stated “This is the vehicle that struck my car and took off!” After collecting the victims statement I had Somerville dispatch run the license plate of the vehicle in question. I was informed by Somerville dispatch that the vehicle was registered to a Mr. Adao Franca Mr. Franca happens to reside directly across the street from where the vehicle was left at Medford Street. I would like to note at this time that the front door of Mr. Franca’s residence was left open and unsecured. I had a brief conversation with Lt Vivolo about what was going on and what I had discovered up to this point. I informed Lt. Vivolo about where the vehicle was registered out of and he agreed to assist me with checking the residence for the vehicle owner, and possible operator.

When Lt. Vivolo and I arrived at the front door we could hear several children and a males voice inside. It was not clear what was happening inside the home but is sounded like there was a slight commotion taking place between the unknown male party and the children. I knocked on the door and waited for an answer. After a few seconds a unidentified male asked who is it. I stated that it was the Somerville Police and I asked the individual to open the door. A few more seconds passed and the door opened. At this point Lt. Vivolo and I were greeted by a Male party who would be identified as Adao Franca I would like to note that it was immediately apparent that Mr. Franca was having a hard time maintaining his balance. Also the clothing that Mr. Franca was wearing matched the description that was given over the air pertaining to the possible suspect. Mr. Franca latched onto the door frame more than once to steady himself when asked to step outside so we could speak he did not move. Lt. Vivolo asked Mr. Franca to step outside for a second time. After a few moments Mr. Franca attempted to walk out onto the porch. Mr. Franca was unsteady and Lt. Vivolo and I had to assist Mr Franca out onto the front porch. I would like to note the following observations that I made after only a few brief moments with Mr. Franca. Mr. Franca was very unsteady on his feet, to the point that Mr. Franca had to continuously grab onto things to maintain his balance. I would also like to add that Mr. franca’s eyes were very glassy and almost sleepy looking as if he was having a hard time keeping his eyes open. Last but not least Mr. Franca’s speech was slurred and he was repeating himself over and over again despite the fact that we were answering his questions. I would also like to note that the entire time I was dealing with Mr. Franca we were conversing in English. While Lt. Vivolo and I were outside with Mr. Franca I asked Mr Franca if he knew who owned the vehicle that was parked across the street with the lights on. Mr. Franca replied it is mine. I asked Mr. Franca if he had driven the vehicle there, Mr Franca replied yes. However a short time later Mr. franca recanted that statement claiming that he had hired a driver to operate his vehicle for him.

At this time Detective Michael Holland and Officer Michael Cabral Jr. arrived on location to assist. After other officers were present Lt. Vivolo left to locate the witness who allegedly witnessed not only the accident but the operator of the striking vehicle walking away once the vehicle was parked.
While The other officers and I waited with Mr. Franca our street supervisor Sgt. Macarelli was with the witness of the incident going over the Somerville police departments show up form. Once the Show up form was complete Sgt Macarelli transported the witness to our location. I would like to note that during the time of the show up the suspect was not in handcuffs and the suspect was standing on the sidewalk in a well lit area. As Sgt. Macarelli slowly drove by our location the witness, he was able to positively identify Mr. Franca as the male party he saw leaving the striking vehicle. The witness also made the following statements. ” That’s him, I’m sure 100%. That is the man I saw 4 feet tops from the driver’s side of the white pickup truck with the fog lights illuminated. I saw him walking towards the sidewalk from the alley of the building next to the gas station.”

After the show up was completed and positive identification was made I asked Mr. Franca if he would be willing to undergo a few field sobriety tests. Mr. Franca replied yes. I then escorted Mr. Franca across the street to the parking lot of the Next gas station which is located at the corner of School Street and Medford Street. I chose this location for the field sobriety test due to the fact that the parking lot is well lit, level and free of defects. The parking lot also has marked parking spots which can be used for the nine step walk and turn. prior to any field testing I read Mr. Franca his Miranda rights. I read the Miranda rights off of a laminated card that Officer Michael Cabral Jr. Had in his shirt pocket. After I read Mr. Franca his rights I asked if he understood the rights as I had explained them to him. Mr. franca replied yes. I then asked Mr. Franca, understanding your rights would you like to speak to me about the incident. Mr. franca replied yes. I asked Mr. Franca how long he had been home. Mr. franca gave me inconsistent answers when it came to this question. First he replied that he had been home since 3 PM. and that he had been drinking in his room, then he would change it and state that he had just came home 5 to 10 minutes prior to us arriving at his home. I asked Mr. franca how many alcoholic beverages he had consumed during the evening. Mr. Franca stated he had 12 beers at first, but then stated he drank a case in his bedroom. At this point I asked Mr. Franca if he was ready for the field sobriety test and he stated that he was.

After the field sobriety tests were complete I asked Mr. Franca if he was operating his vehicle tonight. Mr. Franca replied no. I asked Mr. Franca why it was that we had a witness placing him at his vehicles driver’s side door. Mr. franca could not directly answer this question. I had Mr. Franca place his hands behind his back, and I then placed Mr. Franca into custody. I would like to note that after Mr. Franca was told that someone witness him leaving the vehicle Mr. Franca began to cry. I then contacted Somerville dispatch and requested the mobile detention unit be sent to my location. Mr. Franca was then transported to the Somerville police station and was booked by Lt. Vivolo. Mr. Franca was issued criminal citation #R4782727 and charged with the following.

In closing, while Mr. Franca was being booked he was given a second chance to perform the field sobriety test again in a controlled environment. The tests were administered the same what as they were in the parking lot however this time Mr. Franca gave up after not being able to maintain his balance on the one leg stand for longer that a 1/ 1000 count.

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