On 11/17/16, I Officer Christopher Collette was assigned to Somerville marked unit East One. At approximately 17:36 hours I was dispatched to Stop and Shop at 779 McGrath Highway for a reported shoplifter. Officer Ramirez was dispatched as well. The suspect was described as a white male wearing a black jacket over a gray sweatshirt. While en route to the call, Somerville Control advised responding units that the suspect was fleeing on Pennsylvania Ave. and headed toward Minnesota Ave. The suspect would later be identified as Brian Kobs. Officer Ramirez and I pulled onto Minnesota Ave. Mr. Kobs ran past my cruiser. Officer Ramirez caught sight of Mr. Kobs who was holding his hand under a balled up jacket as if he were concealing something. Officer Ramirez ordered Mr. Kobs to stop and show his hands. Mr. Kobs refused and continued his movement. Fearing that Mr. Kobs was concealing a weapon, Officer Ramirez then drew his firearm and again ordered Mr. Kobs to stop and show his hands. Mr. Kobs then fled. Officer Ramirez followed Mr. Kobs on foot as I proceeded in my cruiser. Officer Ramirez observed Mr. Kobs continually drop his hands to his waist during his flight, and discarded several items. Mr. Kobs fled across both lanes of Broadway, a heavily utilized main road in the city of Somerville. In doing so he subjected himself, Officer Ramirez, and the motoring public to unnecessary hazard in an effort to escape apprehension.
Officer Ramirez finally was able to prevent Mr. Kobs from fleeing any further, but Mr. Kobs began to resist all efforts to be subdued. At this point XXXXX, Stop and Shop’s Loss Prevention Employee arrived on scene. He and an unidentified citizen assisted Officer Ramirez in subduing the combative Mr. Kobs. I arrived moments later and was advised that Mr. Kobs had been reaching for an item in the area of his groin, and he would not submit to handcuffing. At this point I observed Officer Ramirez, XXXXX, and an unknown civilian were atop Mr. Kobs in an attempt to subdue him. Mr. Kobs was holding his right arm underneath his body and actively resisting attempts at handcuffing him. I then advised Mr. Kobs to free his arm or I would utilize my department issued pepper spray to overcome his resistance to being handcuffed. Mr. Kobs failed to present his arm. I then administered a short burst of my department issued pepper spray to Mr. Kobs’s face. I was then able to retrieve Mr. Kob’s arm and secure him in handcuffs.
It was at this point that XXXXX informed me that Mr. Kobs had stolen almost $1500 of store property, and had assaulted him. Post handcuffing, Mr. Kobs stated that during the pursuit, his furtive movements were the result of him attempting to locate a needle he had secreted in order to surrender it to the police. A thorough search of the area revealed no needle. Mr. Kobs however was in possession of a glass tube that appeared to be, what is commonly referred to as a “Crack pipe”. Mr. Kobs was transported to the Somerville Police Station where he ultimately refused to cooperate in the booking process. After Mr. Kobs was transported, I returned to Stop and Shop to more thoroughly interview XXXXX.
XXXXX informed me that he was monitoring the video surveillance system when he observed Mr. Kobs placing an unusual amount of over-the-counter medications and beauty products into reusable grocery bags. XXXXX observed Mr. Kobs carry several shopping bags containing store property past all points of purchase. He then made his way into an exit vestibule. XXXXX then confronted Mr. Kobs who punched XXXXX in the face. An involved scuffle ensued, and XXXXX deployed his own chemical spray (MACE) in self defense. The scuffle continued and XXXXX wound up on the ground, and Mr. Kobs fled the area. I then observed video surveillance that corroborated XXXXX’s account.
As Mr. Kobs assaulted XXXXX in an attempt to flee the scene with stolen property, I will be charging him with unarmed robbery. Due to leading Officer Ramirez on a foot pursuit that crossed both lanes of a busy main street thus subjecting all persons in the area to danger, I will be charging Mr. Kobs with disorderly conduct. I will also be charging Mr. Kobs with resisting arrest for the dangerous flight, and refusing to be handcuffed.
Patrolman Christopher Collette, B#302