Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Milton RAMIREZ (OUI Liquor)

On November 23, 2017, while assigned to marked unit East-1, I was dispatched, along with unit East-2 (Officer Ruf) to the area of Lincoln Ave for reports of a hit and run. Upon my arrival I was flagged down by the two witnesses who were the also the rp’s, XXXXX and YYYYY. They stated to me they were driving down Lincoln Ave behind a brown pickup truck which they had reported to dispatch as MA Registration ZZZZZ. They stated the vehicle was swerving and hit a blue vehicle, which they were standing beside. Dispatch informed me the pickup was registered to 35 Mt. Vernon Street. Officer Ruf made his way to that location where he saw the vehicle pulling into the driveway less than 10 minutes later. Officer Ruf advised over the air he was with the vehicle and the operator of that vehicle. I made my way to that location and in the driver’s seat was a male later identified as Mr. Milton Ramirez. I went to the passenger side and asked Mr. Ramirez to turn the vehicle off. I explained why were at his house and he continually told me he did not hit the car. I noticed that Mr. Ramirez was slurring his speech and his eyes were glassy and blood shot. I asked Mr. Ramirez to step out of the vehicle to speak to me. While Mr. Ramirez exiting and walking to the rear of the vehicle he was unsteady on his feet and used the vehicle several times for what I believed to be balance. I asked Mr. Ramirez if he had been drinking and he said “not today, yesterday”. At this time I noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath. I asked Mr. Ramirez if he would be willing to submit to field sobriety tests and he said yes. I asked Mr. Ramirez if he would come across the street where there was overhead lighting.

Across the street I asked Mr. Ramirez to stand with his feet together and his hands by his sides. I had to ask Mr. Ramirez several times to keep his hands out of his pockets before he would do so. I then began to explain to Mr. Ramirez about the tests and read off the directions from a notebook issued to me by the MPTC that I keep in my cruiser bag.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test:

I asked Mr. Ramirez if he used glasses or contacts, to which he replied no. I then explained for Mr. Ramirez to follow a blue light pen with only his eyes and to not move his head. During the test, Mr. Ramirez could not follow the light without moving his head, had lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes, had a sustained and distinct Nystagmus at maximum deviation, and had an onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees. Mr. Ramirez did not have vertical Nystagmus.

Walk and Turn:

I then asked Mr. Ramirez if he had any injuries to his body or pain in his legs. He informed me he did not. I asked Mr. Ramirez to put his left foot down, and to put his right foot in front of it with his hands by his sides. I then showed Mr. Ramirez the position I wanted him in. He complied and was unable to stand without pulling his arms up for balance. I then explained to Mr. Ramirez I wanted him to take 9 heel-to-toe steps, turn around, and take 9 heel-to-toe steps back, while counting out his steps and looking at his feet.. I then demonstrated this to him, including the way I wanted him to turn around. Mr. Ramirez took 4 steps, turned around incorrectly, did not count his steps, and looked up several times.

One-Leg stand:

I then requested Mr. Ramirez to stand with his feet together and his hands down by his sides again. I explained to Mr. Ramirez I was going to be demonstrating the test to him and that I wanted him to raise one leg, approximately 6 inches off the ground, parallel to the ground, and to look at his toe, while counting and to not lower his foot until I told him to. I then asked Mr. Ramirez if he had any questions. He said no. I demonstrated what I was requesting him to do and when he started the test he was unable to keep his balance without lowering his foot for more than one second at a time. After the third time I told Mr. Ramirez to stop as I was worried he would fall and injure himself.

At this time I placed Mr. Ramirez under arrest and in handcuffs (DL). I requested through dispatch for unit 200 (Mobile Transport vehicle). Mr. Ramirez was transported to the Somerville Police Department by Officer Brown and was booked by Lt. Rymill. About halfway through booking Mr. Ramirez stated he did not understand some of the things being explained to him and requested a translator. Officer Carlos Membreno of the Everett Police Department responded to the station, as we had no Spanish speaking officers currently working. Mr. Ramirez, after being read his Miranda rights stated he drank 14 beers at 3 AM the day prior. Mr. Ramirez also refused any chemical tests.

Mr. Ramirez was issued Massachusetts Uniform Citation R8323278 for OUI liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

I will be attaching pictures of the damage to the vehicles in this report along with submitting Mr. Ramirez’s refusal paperwork, photo copies of the instructions he was read, the breathalyzer refusal form, and his statutory rights form.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Christopher Fusco #328

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