Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Michael PUNTONIO (OUI, Speeding, Reckless Op)

On Monday, July 03, 2017, at approximately 1:00 A.M., officer Khoury and I, cleared a motor vehicle stop at the intersection of Mystic Avenue and Temple Street (public ways in the city of Somerville.)

 

While stopped on the right lane with our blue lights on, a black Honda Accord bearing Massachusetts registration XXXXX passed us at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was going 53 MPH in a 25 MPH zone.

 

I followed the vehicle with lights and sirens, the operator continued to travel on the left lane, passed Shore Drive and US 93 On ramp, and stopped once he crossed the city line into Medford. Sergeant Perrone responded as backup.

 

I approached the operator along with Officer Khoury and requested his license and registration. While talking to the operator who was identified as Michael Puntonio, I detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath; his eyes were glassy and bloodshot.

 

I asked Mr. Puntonio to step out of the vehicle and take a field sobriety test, to which he agreed. I explained, demonstrated all tests to Mr. Puntonio and asked him if he understood, and he stated “Yes.” The test was administered on the side of the road, on a well-lit, flat, non-slippery surface.

 

I asked Mr. Puntonio if he wears glasses, and he stated “No” and denied having blindness in either eye. Mr. Puntonio stated that he had no injuries, illnesses, medical conditions or physical defects that would prevent him from completing the tests. He stated that he was not diabetic or epileptic, and does not take insulin.

 

The first test I administered was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

 

HGN:

During this test, Mr. Puntonio was unable to follow the stimulus, he moved his head left and right and did not follow the instructions.

 

Walk and Turn test:

I instructed Mr. Puntonio to place his left foot on the line and put his right foot in front of it, with his right heel touching his left toe and keep his hands by his side, then take nine heel-to-toe steps on the line, turn around keeping one foot on the line, and return nine heel-to-toe steps.

 

During the instructional phase, Mr. Puntonio stated to me “really, I can’t do this. I’m not a girl. Girls stand like this.” Mr. Puntonio started too soon and lost his balance four times. He took nine steps, missed heel-to-toe on all nine steps, raised his arms to maintain balance, stepped off line on the second, third, and seventh step, and pivoted not performing the turn as instructed. He then took nine steps back, raised his arms to maintain balance, missed heel-to-toe on all nine steps, and stepped offline on the third, seventh, eighth, and ninth step.

 

One Leg Stand:

I instructed Mr. Puntonio to stand with his heels together and arms by his side, and raise one leg approximately six inches off the ground, foot parallel to the ground, keep both legs straight and keep eyes on the elevated foot, and while holding that position to count out loud; one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, and so forth until told to stop.

 

Mr. Puntonio interrupted me several times while giving him the instructions, stating “Really, are you a rookie?” I asked Mr. Puntonio if he understood the instructions and he stated “Yes.”

 

While standing on his right foot, Mr. Puntonio swayed, hopped, raised his arms for balance and put his foot down on his count of “1003”. He then asked me if he could try standing on his left foot. While standing on his left foot, Mr. Puntonio was unable to raise his foot off the ground for more than two second. The test was terminated for safety reasons.

 

Modified Romberg Balance:

During this test, Mr. Puntonio estimated the passage of 30 seconds in 21 seconds and had a three inch sway from side to side and back and forth. I also observed eyelid tremors and body tremors during this test. I asked Mr. Puntonio how much time he estimated and he responded “30 seconds” I asked him how he estimated it and he replied “I just counted until 30”

 

Finger to noise test:

During this test, Mr. Puntonio touched the left side of his nose on the first and third attempts, touched the right side of his nose on second, fourth, and fifth attempts. I had to remind Mr. Puntonio to bring his hand down by his side after each attempt.

 

Based on my observations, I placed Mr. Puntonio under arrest for OUI Liquor and reckless operation of a motor vehicle. He was transported to the Somerville Police Headquarters via unit 200, operated by Officer Nardone, and booked by Sergeant Marino.

 

During the booking process, Sergeant Marino advised Mr. Puntonio of his rights, and asked him to submit to a chemical test of his breath. Mr. Puntonio refused to take the test.

 

I issued citation R8607266 / R8607267 to Mr. Puntonio for the following offenses:

 

– OUI LIQUOR

– RECKLESS OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE

– SPEEDING

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted, 

 

 

Officer Samir Messaoudi #312

Somerville Police Dept.

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