Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Cleber DESOUZA (OUI, Leave Scene)

   
 

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, I was in full uniform and assigned to marked unit East-4 on a directed patrol of 299 Broadway. At approximately 10:33 PM, Officer Goncalves (East-1) and I were dispatched to Central Street at Broadway for a report of a hit and run. Both Central Street and Broadway are public ways in the City of Somerville. The initial details were that a blue truck had struck a utility pole and fire hydrant and had fled down Central Street.

 

Upon arrival I observed a fire hydrant had been completely removed from its base along with damage to a utility pole including a broken guy wire (see attached photos attached to this report). Additionally, there was debris scattered over the roadway and sidewalk that appeared to be pieces of a vehicle. Several individuals standing outside stated to me that a blue, possibly Dodge Durango, had struck the utility pole and fire hydrant. After the crash the vehicle left the scene heading down Central Street in the direction of Medford Street. I immediately put the updated description and direction of travel over the radio to responding units. Somerville Fire arrived on scene to secure the damaged hydrant and utility pole. At this time Officer Goncalves, Officer Difava (West-5), Sergeant Ward (S-9), Officer McCarey (East-3) and I began to search the area for the vehicle. Officer Goncalves noticed a trail of fluid on the roadway that appeared to lead from the scene of the accident and began to follow it.

 

At approximately 10:47 PM, Officer McCarey and Officer Goncalves; who were following the trail of fluid, located a vehicle matching the description down an alleyway adjacent to 599 Somerville Ave. Officer Cicerone who was on a nearby detail, and Officer Isaacs (East-2) along with the other units already involved responded to the area. I arrived on scene at 599 Somerville Ave. shortly after.

 

Officer McCarey informed me that as he pulled up to the vehicle he witnessed an individual, later identified as Mr. Cleber Desouza (DOB: XX/XX/XX), exit the driver’s side door. It should be noted the keys were currently in the ignition at this time. The vehicle was a 2003 Dodge Durango color blue, bearing MA registration XXXXX. This vehicle was later identified as being registered to Mr. Desouza. I noticed heavy front end damage along with air bag deployment (see photos attached to this report). Mr. Desouza was ordered away from the vehicle handcuffed and pat frisked for officer safety. Once the pat frisk was completed officers removed the handcuffs. I approached Mr. Desouza and asked what had happened. He stated that he hit a pole and came down to this location to park. I noticed Mr. Desouza was very unsteady on his feet, had red glossy eyes and was slurring his speech. I also detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from Mr. Desouza as he spoke. I asked him if he was injured or needed medical attention, but he assured me he was fine. Sergeant Ward asked Mr. Desouza if he had been drinking at all this evening. He said 6 beers and two nips and that he was coming from Revere.

 

At this point I asked Mr. Desouza if he would be willing to perform field sobriety tests, to which he agreed. It should be noted that Mr. Desouza kept making mention to the amount of alcohol he had admitted to consuming earlier. Mr. Desouza was brought to a flat, well lit area close by. I asked him again if he was hurt in any way to which he replied no. I then asked him if his footwear was comfortable and he responded yes. The following tests were explained, demonstrated and then preformed in this order:

 

HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN)

 

Using my Standard Field Sobriety Test Administrative Guide provided to me at the Lowell Police Academy, I read Mr. Desouza instructions for the HGN testing. Mr. Desouza acknowledged that he understood the instructions that I had read to him. Before performing the test, I asked him to remove his glasses. I checked for resting Nystagmus and that his eyes were equally tracking. I then checked for lack of smooth pursuit which I noticed in both the left and right eye, indicating two clues of impairment. Next I checked for distinct and sustained Nystagmus at maximum deviation. I also noticed this in both the left and right eye, indicating two more clues of impairment. Last I check for the onset of Nystagmus prior to forty five degrees. Mr. Desouza also presented with this, indicating an additional two clues of impairment. At this point I stopped the test as Mr. Desouza was moving his head despite being reminded of the instructions for following with only his eyes.

 

WALK AND TURN 

 

The test was administered using a straight line in the concrete sidewalk that separates the different sections. I returned Mr. Desouzas eyeglasses for the remainder of the testing. Using my Standard Field Sobriety Test Administrative Guide provided to me at the Lowell Police Academy, I read Mr. Desouza instructions for the walk and turn. During my explanation of how to properly stand for the test (heal to toe with arms at your sides), Mr. Desouza could not keep his balance while attempting this. After demonstrating the walk and turn test, I asked Mr. Desouza if he understood the instructions to which he responded yes. During the walk and turn test I observed Mr. Desouza start before being told to do so, lose his balance at several points, raise his arms, not count the steps out loud, take twelve steps out and stop walking on the way back. All these are indications of impairment. 

 

ONE LEG STAND 

 

Using my Standard Field Sobriety Test Administrative Guide provided to me at the Lowell Police Academy, I read Mr. Desouza instructions for the one leg stand. After demonstrating the one leg stand test, I asked Mr. Desouza if he understood the instructions to which he responded yes. At this point Mr. Desouza became visibly frustrated. I asked him again if he understood and wished to continue with the test and he said yes. During the test I noted that Mr. Desouza began to sway throughout the duration of the test, raised his arms, and put his foot down within the first 10 seconds. I stopped the test at 11 seconds in fear of Mr. Desouzas safety. 

 

A copy of the instructions as they appear in the Standard Field Sobriety Test Administrative Guide will be tagged into evidence.

 

Based on my training and the results of the above stated tests, I placed Mr. Desouza under arrest for Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol (90/24/J) and Leaving the Scene of Property Damage (90/24/C). Mr. Desouza was transported to the Somerville Police Station in marked unit #200 operated by Officer Reece where he was booked by Lt. Lavey. I issued Mr. Desouza MA Uniform Citation (#R7092983) for the aforementioned charges. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Pats Towing.

 

During the booking process and after being read his Miranda Warnings, Mr. Desouza stated to Lt. Lavey that he had seven beers and two nips of Smirnoff Pineapple. He further said his last drink was at 6:30 PM at Revere Beach. Mr. Desouza agreed to take a breathalyzer test of which the results are attached to this report. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Officer Kevin Goulart #326

 

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