Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Jeffrey BURKE (OUI Drugs, Reckless Operation MV)

On Thursday, September 14th, 2017, I, Officer Kim, was working uniformed patrol in marked cruiser West 7. At approximately 13:30 hours I was dispatched to the area of Holland Street, near Davis Square, for a report of a man who appeared to be driving while intoxicated. The caller described the motor vehicle as a green Jeep with a ladder on the roof. The reporting party also described the man as sleep driving or driving with his eyes closed. While in route to the location a second 911 call was received from Somerville Traffic and Parking, who reported that a man appeared to be driving with his eye’s closed and proceeded in the wrong direction down Gorham Street (a one way public way in the City of Somerville). The caller also stated that she believed that the driver “was on something” and was worried that he might kill someone. Unit West 6: Officer Anderson was also dispatched as back and Unit West 5: Officer Remigio also responded to assist.

 

While in route to the area, Officer Remigio radioed Somerville Control and reported that he had the suspect vehicle stopped in front of 58 Gorham Street. I arrived on location just seconds later and observed Officer Remigio speaking with a male, identified as Jeffery Burke, in a blueish-green Jeep with a ladder on its roof. I approached and asked Burke for his identification. I then consulted Officer Remigio who informed me that Burke was had been driving the wrong way down Gorham Street, when Officer Remigio turned the corner onto Gorham with his Blue lights activated, Burked fail to come to stop. Officer Remigio could see Burke’s face at this point and explained that his eyes looked as if they were closed. Fearing that Burke would collide with his cruiser head on, Officer Remigio activated his siren. Officer Remigio explained that when he activated his siren, it was as if Burke “suddenly woke up”, then came to a stop. Officer Remigio then exited his cruiser and ordered Burke to keep his hands visible several times. However, Burke fail to comply and reached down under his seat for an extended period of time, while Officer Remigio was approaching. Officer Remigio then noticed an orange needle cap laying on the ground next to Burke’s driver side door.

 

I then spoke with Burke and immediately noticed that he was visibly nervous as his entire body, and most noticeably his left arm, were shaking. I also immediately noticed that both Burke’s pupils were “pinned” or constricted, which I recognize from my training and experience to be an uncontrollable physical reaction to use of opiates. I also noticed what appeared to be a fresh injection mark on the underside of Burkes left forearm. I asked Burke what he was doing and he stated that he was driving, then got into an argument with a Traffic and Parking Officer. Burke then stated that he was an electrician and was making his way to Jay Street to a work site. I asked Burked if he had taken any drugs or anything that might impair his driving ability. He stated that he had just been released from a drug rehabilitation program and had been clean for two years; then he stated that he was prescribed suboxone and had taken 1 strip earlier in the morning. I asked Burke to exit the vehicle and had him stand on the sidewalk.

 

At this point Somerville Fire and Cataldo Ambulance Service had arrived on scene. I had Burke speak with the Cataldo technicians while a search of Burke’s vehicle was conducted. The search revealed: under the driver side seat a used needle and a small “cut corner” of a plastic bag with white residue, a large rubber band on the passenger side seat, a Q-tip with whitish brown residue and a paper clip with black residue on the driver side door, and the bottom portion of an aluminum soda can with white residue and a small piece of whitish brown cotton. I know, from my training and experience, that these items are consistent with heroin use. These items were photographed, then disposed of due to health and safety concerns. Burke then refused medical attention from Cataldo, and I asked him to perform several field sobriety tests.

 

The first test I performed was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Burke did not show any signs of Nystagmus in either eye. I then conducted the “walk and turn” test which is a series of nine heel to toe steps finishing on the ninth step then turning 180 and proceeding to take nine more steps in the opposite direction. I performed the test as an example. Burke failed this test as he: started the test before being told while I was still performing the example, again started before I told him to begin, stepped off the line on step 8, lifted his right arm to shoulder height for balance on step 8, stopped on step 9 to ask for directions, then proceed to make a full 360 turn, then failed to continue the last 9 steps of the test. I then performed the “one leg stand” test and performed the test as an example. The one leg stand test directs a subject to stand with his arms beside his side, lift one leg six inches off the ground and point his toe, look at this foot and count in succession one thousand, two one thousand until told to stop. I asked Burke if anything precluded him from standing on either leg. He told him he has sciatic nerve pain in his back affecting his left leg. I advised him to stand on his right leg for test. Burke also failed this test. Burke started the test by lifting his right leg, after being advised to start the test by raising his left leg, and immediately swayed off balance and put his foot down. He then started again with the opposite leg without being told, I advised him to stop counting after about 10 seconds. I advised Burke that he was under arrest for Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Drugs and hand cuffed him. He was transported to the Somerville Police Station by Unit 200: Officer Van Nostrand to be processed. Burkes motor vehicle was towed by Pat’s Tow for safe keeping.

 

Officer Jason Callinan, a Cambridge Police Department Drug Recognition Expert, responded to the station and advised Burke of the Drug Recognition Evaluation. However Burke, declined to be evaluated by Officer Callinan.

 

Based on the above facts Burke is being charged with:

 

M.G.L c.90 S24/F : Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Drugs

 

M.G.L c.90 S24/O: Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Officer Eli Kim

Badge #307

Somerville Police Department

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