Real Life Somerville Police Stories



On March 5, 2015, I, Officer Tim Van Nostrand, was on duty, and assigned to uniform patrol in marked cruiser E1. At approximately 10:48pm, I was traveling westbound on Broadway which is a public way. I observed MA 72MH67 pull up beside my cruiser as we approached the traffic light for Cross St, and I randomly queried this registration through the RMV. The result of my query showed the vehicle was reported stolen out of Arlington on February 23, 2015 (Arlington Case #15004345 NCIC#V097368389). I radioed Somerville Control, who confirmed the stolen status on the vehicle. The vehicle approached the intersection of Broadway and McGrath High, and was stopped in the right turn only lane.

I activated my emergency equipment, and the vehicle took off, failing to stop for me. The vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed northbound on route 28, abruptly turning right onto Blakeley Ave. The operator continued on Blakeley Ave, crossing over Garfield Ave, where the street dead ends. The operator, and a passenger jumped out of the vehicle, and I initiated a foot pursuit ordering them to stop. The two males ran onto Cross St East, turning right and running across Broadway. I lost sight of the operator, but caught the passenger in the rear of 23 Brook St. Officer’s Pat Canty, Chris Collette, Devin Schneider, Gravin Guillen, Al Gee, Detective’s Michael Capasso and Guerdy Legros, and Sgt. Rich Lavey all responded to assist.

Immediately upon handcuffing the suspect, I read him his Miranda Warnings. He stated to me he understood them, and I began to question him about this evenings events. I identified him as Joel Lopez (09/17/1995), and asked him why he ran. At first he informed me he ran because his friend told him too, but later admitted that he knew the car was stolen, and had been riding around in it the last few days. He informed me that the operator was a Terrance Morrison out of Cambridge, and that he was roughly the same age (18-22 years old).

Officer Michael Cabral transported Lopez in unit 200 for processing. I returned to the stolen motor vehicle to perform an inventory before Pat’s towed the vehicle. I observed the vehicle to contain an assortment of personal items. One folding knife and one fixed blade knife in a sheath were located in the passenger compartment. In addition I located three keys to separate vehicles, one of which had a tag on it that appeared it was a used car for sale. Two cell phones were also recovered from the passenger compartment. One cell phone was on and the screen was illuminated. In order to determine whether this phone was abandoned property or if it belonged to the victim of the vehicle theft, I slid the lock on the screen and it revealed a picture of a male that resembled the operator who had fled. I was able to compare the MA ID photo of Terrance Morrison to the pictures on the IPhone, and was able to determine it was the same person. Due to Lopez statements post Miranda, and locating a cell phone that appears to belong to Terrance Morrison, I believe that Morrison was operating the stolen motor vehicle, and did elude arrest.

Joel Lopez was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (266/28/F), and Resisting Arrest (268/32B). I will be applying for a warrant for Terrance Morrison for Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (266/28/F), Resisting Arrest (268/32B), and Failure To Stop For Police (90/25). The vehicle was towed to Pat’s, and Arlington PD was notified to remove the stolen vehicle from NCIC.

Respectfully Submitted,

Officer Tim Van Nostrand
Somerville Police Dept.

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