Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Unlicense Operation of a Motor Vehicle

On Monday, December 7th, 2015, I, Officer James Torres, along with Officer Devin Schneider, was assigned to marked unit East-4 during the evening shift. The following report is a summary of events that I witnessed on that date, as they pertain to incident #15060044:


At approximately 11:38 pm we were on patrol heading Southbound on McGrath Highway. As I exited the highway on the Somerville Avenue exit, I observed a white Chevy Impala heading the wrong way on the exit ramp towards my cruiser. I would note that to travel that far up the exit ramp onto the wrong side of the highway, a vehicle would have to pass at least one large sign indicating it was going the wrong way. The vehicle stopped, then went in reverse down the exit ramp until it reached the McGrath Highway underpass, did a U-turn and began to drive under the bridge at McGrath Highway and Somerville Avenue. I initiated a motor vehicle stop, activating my blue lights and siren, and the vehicle pulled to the left of the road.


I approached the male operator as Officer Schneider approached the female passenger. After the operator rolled down his window I detected what I know to be, based on my training and experience, the strong odor of burnt Marijuana emanating from the vehicle. I demanded to see the operator’s driver’s license, and he was subsequently identified as Monte Stanford. Mr. Stanford stated that he did not have the license in his possession and that he did not have the vehicle registration. I then asked Mr. Stanford what his name was and what his date of birth was. I ran a query of the information he gave me through CJISWeb on my cruiser’s laptop, which displayed a listing for him with NO license status. I informed Mr. Stanford that because he did not have his license in his possession, and that we were unable to identify him as a licensed operator, he was unable to continue operating the vehicle. Mr. Stanford stated that he had a driver’s license from Maryland and I informed him he needed to have an out of state driver’s license in his possession.


I informed Mr. Stanford that he could find a licensed driver to operate the vehicle or that I would have it towed. It was at this time that Mr. Stanford starting shouting and swearing at me while leaning outside of his driver’s side window. Mr. Stanford then communicated to me that nobody was going to take the vehicle. Officer Schneider then came over and attempted to explain to Mr. Stanford the reason he could no longer operate his vehicle. Mr. Stanford was non-complaint and again started yelling racial slurs at officers. Due to Mr. Stanford’s combative behavior, Officer Schneider called Somerville dispatch and requested additional units. Officer Schneider ordered Mr. Stanford to step out of his vehicle at which point Mr. Stanford rolled up his driver’s side window, locked the door, and made a phone call. 


Again, Officer Schneider then demanded that Mr. Stanford step out of the vehicle to which he did but in an aggressive manner while shouting. Mr. Stanford then put his hands behind his back as Officers attempted to put Mr. Stanford in handcuffs. Mr. Stanford continued to yell derogatory insults to officers and started to struggle pulling his arms away while Officer Schneider attempted to place him into handcuffs. Mr. Stanford’s resisting caused Officers to fall against the trunk of the Impala. Officer Ramirez arrived on scene and joined the struggle to subdue Mr. Stanford. Officer Ramirez issued a one second burst from his department issued OC spray. Officer Schneider was then able to place Mr. Stanford into handcuffs.


Mr. Stanford was transported to the Somerville Police station in prisoner transport unit-200, operated by Officer Cicerone, where he was booked in the usual manner by the Commanding Officer, Sergeant John Marino. MA uniform citation R6876079 was issued to Mr. Stanford at the station. The Chevy Impala was towed per authorization of the street supervisor, Sergeant Kevin Shackelford. I will be seeking the following charges against Mr. Stanford:


Ch. 90/ S. 10: Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle

Ch. 90/ S. 24: Operating to Endanger

Ch. 268 / S. 32b: Resisting Arrest


The female passenger refused to provide her information to officers.


Respectfully submitted,


Officer James Torres

Badge #329

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