Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Stephen AMOAKO (OUI Liquor)


On June 24, 2016 at approximately 2:35 PM, Officer J. Ducasse (West 6) and I (Officer Mark Nevin / West 5) were dispatched to the area of Mystic Avenue at Wheatland Street to investigate a report of an intoxicated black male that may try to drive away in a Gray Dodge Durango. Dispatch updated as we were en route that the man had driven away on Mystic Avenue going toward Fellsway West. Officer Ducasse located and stopped the motor vehicle on Jacques Street at Wheatland Street. I drove past the suspect’s motor vehicle to park in front of him to ensure that he did not attempt to flee. As I drove past, the driver appeared to be in a stupor.

 

I approached the driver as he sat in his car and began a conversation with him. When I got close to the driver I could smell alcohol on his breath. Officer Ducasse asked the driver if he had been drinking and the driver said that had a little to drink but went to get some food. Officer Ducasse asked the driver how much had he had to drink, but the driver never directly answered that question. Officer Ducasse then asked the driver to step out of the motor vehicle and to provide his driver’s license. The operator cooperated, but was slow to respond and a little unsteady on his feet. The driver’s license he provided was an expired license, even though the RMV showed that he has an active license. When we asked for a newer license he looked through his wallet but could not locate it. During an inventory search at booking, he was found to have three MA licenses, including a new valid license.

 

I told the driver, now identified as Mr. Stephen Amoako, that I would like him give him some Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). He did not understand what the meant, so I explained to him that FSTs are tests designed to detect whether a person may be intoxicated. He agreed to do the tests. I had him walk around the corner to an area on the sidewalk that was flat, free of obstructions, and shaded.

 

Before beginning the test I asked Mr. Amoako if he wore contact lenses or had any visual problems that may interfere with the tests. He responded that he wore reading glasses, but had no other problems. I removed a card I keep in my pocket that contains an administrative guide to completing the FSTs. I instructed him to stand with his feet together and to keep his hands by his sides while I read the instructions for the first test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus). After completing the instructions I asked him if he understood and he said that he did.

 

Mr. Amoako displayed lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, but especially his left eye. As I moved the stylus to his left, his eyes sprang back to center about 25 degrees. His left eye displayed onset of Nystagmus at about 35 degrees and his right eye at about 25 degrees. At maximum deviation his eyes displayed distinct Nystagmus and he had difficulty holding his head still. I asked him several times to keep his head oriented straight ahead and to only follow the stylus with his eyes. He gave me a blank stare but said he understood. At times he had trouble following the stylus and I asked if he needed his reading glasses. He said that he did not.

 

 

The next test I gave to Mr. Amoako was the Walk and Turn, but first I asked him if he had any physical impairment of other health issues that would prevent him from completing the next test and he said that he did not. Again, I asked him to stand with his feet together and to keep his hands by his sides while I read the instructions. For the previous test, he managed to maintain that posture, but was beginning to show signs of fatigue. He began to sway and moving his hands away from his side. After reading the instructions, I completed a demonstration and asked if he understood. He said that he did, but I wasn’t convinced. I asked if he wanted me to repeat the demonstration, to which he said, No. I instructed him to begin only after I instruct him to do so, but he attempted to begin on his own. I also instructed him to count aloud each step that he took, but he did not count the first 9 steps; however, he did count all 9 return steps. He did not pivot correctly, he stumbled, and did not walk heel-to-toe on the return steps.

 

The last test I gave Mr. Amoako was the One-Leg Stand. I asked him if he had any physical impairment of other health issues that would prevent him from completing the next test and he said that he did not. Again, I asked him to stand with his feet together and to keep his hands by his sides while I read the instructions. He was clearly getting tired and was having more and more difficulty maintaining his composure and coordination. He put his left hand on a nearby wall to steady himself and said that he was having trouble due to his age. For this last test I allowed him to use the wall to steady himself during the instructions and during the test. Against my instructions he began the test again without being told to do so, he failed to point his toe away, and keep his eyes on his foot.

 

Based on the test results, his own admission of drinking, and the strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath, I formed the opinion that Mr. Amoako was operating his motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and I told him that he was under arrest. His car was legally parked, so we allowed it to remain there, but his keys were confiscated. Station Officer Pavao transported the defendant to the police station where he was booked by Lt. Rymill. After booking, Mr. Amoako completed a Blood Alcohol Test (BAT). The test was completed twice and both times the result was 1.8, which is more than twice the allowable amount. I issued a criminal citation (R7641624) to Mr. Amoako for operating his motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and added it to his property bag, which will be returned to him when he is released from jail.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Officer Mark Nevin #300

Somerville Police Department

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