Real Life Somerville Police Stories

20150120-162220.jpg

20150120-162243.jpg
Powers arrest age 29

On January 17th, 2015, I, Officer Schneider, was in full uniform and assigned to marked unit West-7 during the evening shift. At approximately 8:07 pm, Somerville Dispatch notified patrol officers via radio that they had received a 911 call from a person in the area of Broadway and School Street who was driving behind a black Cadillac, MA registration. The reporting party stated that the operator of vehicle tossed an empty bottle of vodka out the window. The vehicle then reportedly turned right onto Broadway heading towards West Somerville.

At approximately 9:08 pm, Somerville Dispatch Somerville dispatch notified patrol officers that they had received a call from a person in the area Boston Ave. The caller had stated that they had witnessed a black Cadillac, MA registration, operating erratically. The caller reported that they believed the operator was intoxicated. He struck reporting party’s vehicle and left the scene on Boston Ave. The caller stated there was no damage to her vehicle.

At approximately 10:27 pm, Officer Jean-Jacques (West-5) notified dispatch via radio that he was following a black Cadillac, MA registration, in the area of Elm Street in Davis Square. Elm Street is a public way in Somerville. Officer Jean-Jacques initiated a motor vehicle stop and the Cadillac turned left onto Grove St., and into the parking lot behind Sligo’s Pub. I arrived a short time later, along with Officer Monaco (East-3), Officer Wyatt (West-6), and Sergeant Ward (S-8).

Officer Jean-Jacques informed me that he had witnessed the operator, Matthew Powers, operating the Cadillac from College Ave in front of the MBTA station while riding on a bare tire rim. I observed that the Cadillac’s front drivers side tire was missing, and the metal on the rim was grounded down as if it had been driven on without the tire for some time. I took a picture of the tire and will attach it digitally to this report.

I began to speak with the Mr. Powers and immediately noticed the strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath. Mr. Power’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy. As Mr. Powers spoke I noticed that his speech was slightly slurred. I asked Mr. Powers if he was aware that he had been operating his vehicle on one of the rims, and he stated, “ya, so what?” During my interactions with Mr. Powers I observed that he was unsteady on his feet.

I asked Mr. Powers if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages or drugs and he stated that he had consumed one beer. I asked Mr. Powers if he was willing to perform some field sobriety tests, and he agreed. I would note, that I am certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, as well as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement. Prior to any tests, I asked Mr. Powers if he had any physical impairments or medical conditions that might interfere with the tests, and he stated he had a prior back injury, but was unsure if it would interfere with the test. Mr. Powers was wearing white sneakers and indicated that he was comfortable in them. The area where the tests were taken was on a flat, paved parking lot, free from any apparent defects, well lit by cruiser spot lights and street lights. Mr. Powers was not wearing glasses and stated that he was not wearing contacts. I would note that I used the tip of my finger as a stimulus for the various eye tests.

I performed the following tests:

HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN)
I checked that Mr. Powers had no resting Nystagmus and his eyes were equally tracking. I then checked for lack of smooth pursuit. I observed lack of smooth pursuit in both the left and right eyes, indicating 2 clues of impairment. I observed distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation in both the left and right eye, indicating 2 clues of impairment. Mr. Powers exhibited 6 out of 6 validated clues for the HGN test, indicating impairment.

WALK AND TURN
The walk and turn test is a divided attention test, in which the test taker is directed to stand in the starting position and maintain that position until told to start the test. Mr. Powers assumed the starting position of the test, and swayed for balance. Losing balance during the instructional phase is a validated clue of impairment. After demonstrating the walk and turn test, I asked Mr. Powers if he understood the test or had any questions about it. Mr. Powers stated that he understood, and began the test. During the walk and turn test, I observed Mr. Powers raise his arms for balance more than six inches, and turn improperly.

ONE LEG STAND
After explaining and demonstrating the one leg stand to Mr. Powers, I asked if he understood or had any questions about the test. Mr. Powers stated he understood. During the test, Mr. Powers dropped his foot, used his arms for balance, and swayed while balancing.
MODIFIED ROMBERG BALANCE TEST
Mr. Powers was directed to put his feet together, tilt his head back, close his eyes, and when he believed 30 seconds had elapsed, to open his eyes and say stop. For this test I used my wrist watch to calculate keep track of the time. After 13 seconds, Mr. Powers stopped and stated he was done.

I formed the opinion that Mr. Powers had been operating his vehicle while impaired, under the influence of alcohol. I placed Mr. Powers under arrest, placing him into handcuffs in a manner consistent with my training. Officer Jean-Jacques read Mr. Powers his Miranda rights from a pre-printed card. Mr. Powers indicated that he understood his Miranda rights.

Powers began to shout profanities at me. I asked Mr. Powers several times to calm down and stop shouting, but he continued his tirade. I would note that the area where the scene was unfolding was in public view a moderate foot and vehicular traffic. A crowd of 10-15 people were congregating to watch and cars were slowing down to observe causing traffic complications.

The prisoner transport vehicle, Unit 200, arrived a short time later operated by Officer Manzelli. While being escorted to Unit 200, Powers began to struggle with Officer Wyatt and Officer Monaco next to the street, causing Officers to wrestle with him while in proximity to oncoming traffic. Powers shouted several time: “Now I am resisting!”Powers was transported back to the police station, where he was booked in the usual manner by Lt. Marino.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.