Real Life Somerville Police Stories: A&B with Dangerous Weapon/ Shoplifting at Assembly Row



On September 19, 2015, I, Officer Tim Van Nostrand, was on duty, and assigned to uniform patrol in marked cruiser 871. While on an unrelated call in the Assembly Row area, Officer Gee received a call on his department phone from XXXXX, loss prevention associate from Sak’s 5th Avenue. XXXXX relayed to Officer Gee that he had a male concealing merchandise in a bag, it appeared he was about to flee.


        While Officer Gee stayed on scene of the unrelated call, I proceeded on foot to Sak’s to assist loss prevention. As I arrived, Officer Gee stated the male was leaving out the doors on Grand Union Blvd. As I approached the street, I observed loss prevention pointing out a white male wearing a black polo shirt, carrying an orange Nike bag. The male turned and saw me, and began running across the street toward the K-Mart parking lot. As I gave chase, I observed the male enter MA 547TL8. As I approached the car, the male looked at me and closed the door. I ordered the man to stop and exit the car, however he threw the bag on the back seat, and appeared to be reaching for something while he rolled the window up on me. I drew my department issued firearm and ordered the male to exit the vehicle. He placed the vehicle in drive and accelerated at a high rate of speed. As he accelerated, the B-pillar of the vehicle struck my right arm.


        The vehicle drove at an extremely unsafe high rate of speed through the K-mart parking lot, where it exited onto Foley Street, proceeding onto Middlesex Ave and Mystic Avenue toward Medford. At this time of day, the parking lot was extremely crowded, and filled with pedestrians cars waiting for spots to open. I radioed Somerville Control the direction of flight, and Officer Schneider located the vehicle on Mystic Ave traveling at a high rate of speed.


        Officer Schneider was able to get the vehicle stopped in front of 95 Bailey Rd, where several Somerville units assisted with detaining the operator and female passenger. I arrived shortly thereafter, and positively identified the driver, Robert Preston, as the male who fled from me. I requested the wagon respond, and I placed Preston under arrest for Operating to Endanger, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (to wit vehicle), Shoplifting by Concealing (2nd Offense), and Failure to Stop for Police. Officer Collazo transported Preston in unit 200, where he was booked by Lt. Richard Lavey.


Respectfully Submitted,


Officer Tim Van Nostrand


Somerville Police Dept.


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