Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Brian WHALEN (OUI, Leave Scene)

   
 

On Sunday, March 13, 2016 I, Officer Bork, was in full uniform and assigned to marked cruiser 876 patrolling area West 6 for the Somerville Police Department. At approximately 18:08, myself and West7, Officer Gee, were dispatched to the area of Burnside Ave. and Elm Street for a report of a MV hit and run, both are public ways in the City of Somerville. 

 

Upon arrival in the area, we were flagged down by numerous bystanders to a motor vehicle that had gone the wrong way up Burnside Ave. A black Honda Accord Mass. Reg. XXXXX was pulled over on the left side of the road facing the wrong direction.

 

I first spoke with the owner of MA Reg. YYYYY, who stated that his motor vehicle had minor damage as a result of the incident that occurred. When I asked him what had happened, he stated that he did not witness anything, but was told by a witness what had happened. The parking lot that the motor vehicle was parked in is located in the City of Cambridge, who was also notified of the incident. Attached is the crash report from the Cambridge Police report regarding the damage to this motor vehicle.

 

I then walked over and approached Mass. Reg. XXXXX. As I approached the motor vehicle, I noticed significant damage to the left passenger side mirror, and to front and back door panels on the passenger side. Additionally, there was extensive damage to the driver side front tire, and the front bumper appeared to be hanging off of the motor vehicle. I made contact with a male standing next to the motor vehicle, later identified as Brian Whalen DOB: XX/XX/XX, who had the registration to MA XXXXX in his hands. When I asked Mr. Whalen if he had been driving MA XXXXX, he stated that he had been. As I was talking to Mr. Whalen I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from him, he was speaking with slurred words, and his eyes were dilated and glassy. Mr. Whalen was also extremely unsteady on his feet, and needed to lean against his motor vehicle to stay stable. I asked Mr. Whalen if he needed any medical attention, to which he declined.

 

Mr. Whalen stated that he was fine and that nothing had happened. When asked about the damage to his car he had no response. When I asked Mr. Whalen where he had been coming from he also did not respond. I then asked Mr. Whalen if he be willing to submit to field sobriety testing, to which he agreed to.

 

Mr. Whalen was wearing sneakers and he indicated that he had no medical issues that would prevent him from taking any tests. The area where the tests were taken was on a flat, paved sidewalk, and free from any apparent defects. I used the tip of a silver pen as a stimulus for the eye tests. 

 

I performed the following tests:

 

HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN)

 

Using my SFST administrative guide, I read Mr. Whalen instructions for the HGN testing. Mr. Whalen acknowledged that he understood the instructions that I had read to him. I checked that Mr. Whalen had no resting Nystagmus and his eyes were equally tracking. I checked for lack of smooth pursuit. I observed a lack of smooth pursuit in both the left and right eyes, indicating two clues of impairment. I was not able to continue with any further eye testing due to Mr. Whalen continuously moving his head after being told each time not to. 

 

WALK AND TURN (Explained and demonstrated)

 

The walk and turn test is a divided attention test, in which prior to the test, the test taker is directed to stand in the starting position and maintain that position until told to start the test. The test was administered along the line that bisects concrete panels on the sidewalk. Mr. Whalen assumed the starting position of the test. Mr. Whalen was unable to maintain his balance during the instructional phase of the test, which is a validated clue of impairment. After demonstrating the walk and turn test, I asked Mr. Whalen if he had any questions. Mr. Whalen stated that he understood, and began the test. During the walk and turn test, I observed Mr. Whalen miss his heel to toe, step off the line, use his arms for balance, and take twelve steps instead of nine as he was instructed to do. For the walk and turn test, two out of the eight validated clues indicate impairment. Mr. Whalen exhibited five out of the eight validated clues for the walk and turn test, indicating impairment. 

 

ONE LEG STAND (Explained and demonstrated)

After explaining and demonstrating the one leg stand to Mr. Whalen, I asked if he understood or had any questions about the test. Mr. Whalen stated that he understood and that he was fine. During the test, Mr. Whalen dropped his foot, used his arms for balance, and swayed. Mr. Whalen was unable to count past 5, and at this point almost fell over. At this time I ended the test due to safety concerns that Mr. Whalen may fall and harm himself. The test is suppose to have the test taker count to approximately 30 seconds. Two out of the four validated clues for the one leg test indicate impairment; Mr. Whalen exhibited three out of four validated clues, indicating impairment. 

 

Based on my training and experience, and the results of the field sobriety testing, I formed the opinion that Mr. Whalen was operating impaired under the influence of alcohol. At this point, I placed Brian Whalen under arrest for the charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Marked transport unit #200 operated by Officer Teves, transported Mr. Whalen back to the Somerville Police Station where he was booked in the usual manner by Lt. Rymill. 

 

During the booking process, Mr. Whalen was offered the chance to take a Breath Test, to which he declined.

 

Mr. Whalen’s vehicle was towed by Pats tow and MA uniform citation (#R7092600) was issued to Brian Whalen for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (90/24/J), Leaving the scene of property damage (90/24/C), and Improper operation of a Motor Vehicle (90/16). Attached are photos of the damage that occurred to Mr. Whalen’s car. 

 

During the search of the car, a mostly empty bottle of vodka was found in the back on the floor behind the passenger. This will be submitted to evidence. Additionally, during the inventory search of the motor vehicle, Officer Gee discovered a small container of marijuana. Officer Gee will be filing a supplemental report regarding the destruction of the marijuana.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Officer Christine Bork #327

 

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