Real Life Somerville Police Stories:

All streets listed in this report are public ways in the City of Somerville.

At approximately 11:40 PM on April 10, 2016, I (Officer Mark Nevin / West 6) was parked in my assigned cruiser on Kidder Street across from the Brown School waiting for my shift relief. While I was waiting, I observed a black pickup truck drive past me. The truck did not stop at the stop sign at Willow Avenue before turning right heading toward Ball Square. As soon as the truck completed its turn, it rapidly sped up. I caught up to the truck close to the intersection of Willow Avenue at Broadway. The light was green for the truck, but instead of proceeding through the intersection as I expected it to, it abruptly pulled over next to the Ball Square Liquor store. I stopped my cruiser in the street and observed the truck to see what it would do next. The truck’s left turn signal began flashing and the traffic control light turned red. Just then, the truck turned right instead of left. I activated my cruiser’s emergency lights and quickly caught up to the truck. The truck’s driver seemed to be oblivious to my cruiser’s flashing emergency lights, so I sounded the siren a few times to get the driver’s attention. The driver finally pulled over midway across the bridge near 660 Broadway. I called in the stop to Dispatch and approached the truck. Officer Ducasse (Car 5) came to back me up and Officer C. Fusco stopped to assist in his personal car as he was on his way home after finishing his shift in Car 7.


I introduced myself to the truck’s operator and explained to the operator that I pulled him over because he ran a stop sign and a red light, and was driving erratically. I then asked him for his driver’s license. He then pulled out his wallet from his front right pocket and fiddled about for awhile in an attempt to locate his driver’s license. While he was searching for his driver’s license I asked him where he was coming from and if he had been drinking. He said he was coming from a friend’s and that he had been drinking. Despite this simple line of questioning and that I could see his driver’s license in his wallet; he was not able to locate it. Instead, he handed me his credit card. I then asked him for his registration. His friend in the passenger’s seat was able to locate the registration without any problem and passed it to me through the operator. The registration showed Michael Phillion as the owner. Mr. Phillion at this point had the contents of his wallet scattered in his lap, including various cards, his driver’s license, and cash. I asked him again for his driver’s license and he told me that he already gave it to me. I explained to him that he actually gave me his credit card, not his driver’s license. He said, Yea, that’s it. My license and pointed to the credit card. I observed Mr. Phillion’s speech to be slow and somewhat slurred, and I clearly smelled alcohol on his breath. I then explained to Mr. Phillion that I believed that he was under the influence of alcohol and asked him if he would be willing to take some field sobriety tests. He said he did not understand because he was doing everything he was supposed to do and he was not drunk. I explained to Mr. Phillion that if he was not drunk that he should prove me wrong by taking the field sobriety tests. He agreed to take the test. He got out of the truck very slowly and walked in an erratic manner to the sidewalk.


The sidewalk was smooth and well lit. I turned Mr. Phillion away from the cruiser lights and asked him if he wore contacts or glasses. He said that he did not. I asked him if he had any physical ailments that would limit his ability to complete the test. He said that he did not.


The first test I gave Mr. Phillion was the Nystagmus test. I told Mr. Phillion to stand still with his hands to his sides and to simply follow the tip of my pen with his eyes only and to keep his head still. I asked him if he understood these instructions and he said that he did. I observed lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes and pronounced Nystagmus at maximum deviation, and the onset of Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees at approximately 30 degrees. Mr. Phillion did stand still during the testing; however, he was unable to keep his arms and hands by his side. He put his hands in pants’ pockets.


The next test I gave Mr. Phillion was the one leg stand. I told him to stand still with his feet together and his arms by his side while I explain the test and demonstrate it. I told Mr. Phillion that he will lift one left approximately six inches off the ground and hold it there for 30 seconds. At the end of 30 second he could put his foot down and that he is responsible for counting the seconds. I demonstrated this test and asked him if he understood. Mr. Phillion said that he understood. I asked him if he was ready to begin the test and said he was. I instructed Mr. Phillion to begin the test. He put his foot down after about 11 seconds. I asked him if was done. He said, Yea, that was 30 seconds and then repeatedly tried to raise his foot off the ground again without losing balance. He did this several times before I stopped him.


The last test I gave him was the walk and turn. I again explained and demonstrated the test to Mr. Phillion. I told him to keep his hands by his side and walk nine steps toe-to-heel and on the last step to pivot on the ball of his foot and make nine steps toe-to-heel back to where he started. Mr. Phillion said that he again understood the directions. I told him to begin the test. He immediately raised both his arms to assist him with balance. He took ten steps forward, failed to pivot, then took ten steps back.


I explained to Mr. Phillion that based on the results of the tests, I believed him to be under the influence of alcohol and that he was under arrest. He expressed his denial and discontent by saying, But, I did everything you wanted me to do.


Officer Ducasse called for the prisoner transport wagon (200) while I handcuffed (and double-locked) Mr. Phillion. The passenger was allowed to leave. Officer Lorenti transported the defendant in 200 to the station where he was booked by Lt. Vivolo. Mr. Phillion refused take the breathalyzer test. His truck was towed by Pat’s incident to arrest and due to it being a hazard.


I issued a citation (R7092477) to Mr. Phillion for failing to stop for a stop sign and a traffic light signal; and for OUI Liquor. The citation was left with Mr. Phillion’s personal items, which will be returned to him when he is released. Mr. Phillion was also provided a paper copy of notification that his license has been suspended for refusing to take a chemical test to determine his blood alcohol level.     


Respectfully submitted by,


Officer Mark Nevin

Somerville Police Department


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