On November 13th, 2015, I, Officer James Torres, was in full uniform while assigned to marked unit East 4 during the evening shift, along with Officer Devin Schneider. The following report is a summary of events that I witnessed that day, as they pertain to incident 15056134:
At approximately 6:06 pm, we were dispatched to 218 Pearl Street for a report of a dispute. The reporting party stated that two males were fighting over a bicycle. The dispatcher could hear yelling in the background. I arrived a short time later and saw two male parties, one with a bicycle, walking down the right side of Pearl Street away from Walnut Street, yelling at one another.
I made contact with one of the male parties, subsequently identified as Vincent Distasio, who had the bicycle and I asked him if everything was okay. Mr. Distasio informed me that there was a disagreement between him and the other party but that they had come to a settlement. As Mr. Distasio spoke to me, he was speaking in a loud aggressive manner and kept yelling over to the other party. Mr. Distasio ignored my repeated commands to stop yelling. Mr. Distasio’s verbal tirade was drawing a crowd of between 5-10 people who were starting to congregate on the sidewalks and vehicles that were driving by were starting to slow down to observe the commotion.
I then attempted to separate the two parties by telling Mr. Distasio if he could step over to the right of me, away from the other party and off of the street onto the sidewalk. Mr. Distasio failed to comply and continued yelling while in the street. I asked Mr. Distasio if I could see his ID, to which he denied. He then responded again in an aggressive manner by saying “you’re a rookie and he’s a rookie, I’m from Somerville. I know all the cops in Somerville”. Officer Schneider then made contact with Mr. Distasio asking him several times to lower his tone, and he refused to comply. I would note that during my interactions with Mr. Distasio his demeanor was combative.
Officer Tim Van Nostrand and Officer Orlando Jacquet arrive on scene. Due to the repeated unsuccessful attempts to subdue Mr. Distasio’s combative behavior, Mr.Distasio was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. I advised Mr. Distasio that he was now under arrest and to put his hands behind his back. Mr. Distasio did not comply and started to resist. I physically attempted to place one of Mr. Distasio’s arms behind his back. Officer Schneider then placed one of Mr. Distasio’s hands in a handcuff, while Mr. Distasio continued to resist by attempting to pull his arms away. I then grabbed Mr. Distasio’s other hand and placed it behind his back so that Officer Schneider could get the other handcuff on.
Mr. Distasio continued to resist and started screaming while pulling away. Officers continued to struggle with Mr. Distasio, eventually wrestling him down to the ground. Officer Van Nostrand sprayed Mr. Distasio with a one second burst from his department issued pepper spray. It was at this time that Mr. Distasio started to comply and Officer Schneider was able to get the other handcuff on. While on the ground, waiting for the transport vehicle, Mr. Distasio continued to yell.
Mr. Distasio was transported to the police station by unit-200, operated by Officer Brian Pavao, where he was booked in the usual manner by the Commanding Officer, Lt. Michael Mulcahy.
Officer James Torres