Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Jason ESCOBAR (Firearm Carry w/Ammo, Firearm Carry w/o License…)

On Thursday, March 29, 2018, I was assigned to marked unit East-4 and on routine patrol. At approximately 8:55 PM, I was traveling westbound on Broadway – a public way within the City of Somerville. A fire engine that was traveling ahead of me with its emergency lights activated, was attempting to make a turn in front of the fire headquarters, located at 266 Broadway. In addition, the light in front of the fire station turns red when a fire engine approaches with its emergency equipment activated. I noticed a red motor vehicle traveling eastbound on Broadway, proceed through the intersection, through the red light, and cut in front of the fire engine, causing the fire engine to stop short and utilize the air horn. I activated my emergency lights and siren, and stopped the motor vehicle at the intersection of Broadway and Montgomery Avenue.

I approached the motor vehicle, a 2017 Honda Civic, color red, bearing Massachusetts registration xxxx. I went over to the driver, and informed him the reason for the stop. I immediately detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. I asked the operator for his license and the registration for the vehicle. He informed me, “I don’t have a license.” He provided me with a social security number, and his name – Mr. Jason Escobar. I called the information into dispatch, who confirmed he did not have a driver’s license. I noticed a small child in the back, along with two parties known to me as Mr. XXXX, and Ms. YYYY. Previously the same evening, I was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident involving both those parties. I called for an additional unit as there were 4 people in the car, coupled with an unlicensed operator. I turned my attention back to Mr. Escobar, who was staring straight ahead with his hands down by his legs. His hands were visibly shaking, and he became very fidgety. I asked him again for the registration to the vehicle, and he said that it was a rental. When asked who’s name the rental agreement was under he said, “her mom”, referring to the front seat passenger. I asked him how old he was, and he told me, “eighteen.” When questioned as to why there may be marijuana in the vehicle with a small child, Mr. Escobar reached into his pocket without being asked and said, “this is it”, pulling out a small bag of marijuana. Based on Mr. Escobar being unlicensed, coupled with his nervous fidgety behavior and my backup yet to arrive, I asked Mr. Escobar to step out of the vehicle, to which he complied.

I escorted Mr. Escobar to the rear of the vehicle, and before performing a pat frisk, I asked him if he had anything dangerous or illegal on him, or in the vehicle besides marijuana, to which he responded, “no.” After performing a pat frisk which yielded nothing dangerous, Officer Anderson (West-6), and Housing Police Officer Granitsas (U93) arrived on scene. I then went to the front passenger side of the vehicle to speak with the occupant. Due to Mr. Escobar not being duly licensed, and the car not rented to anyone in the vehicle, coupled with the front passenger not having a seatbelt on, I asked for her identification. She provided me with a Massachusetts Identification Card, which Identified her as Ms. ZZZZ, Ms. YYYY’s sister. ZZZZ was asked to step out of the vehicle so I could speak with her about the rental agreement allegedly being in her mother’s name. ZZZZ appeared exceptionably nervous, giving me the thousand yard stare with wide eyes as she exited the vehicle. She became fidgety, and could only tell me that “my mother is on her way to get the car.” ZZZZ kept looking around and fidgeting with her hands. I asked her to step off to the side away from earshot of the occupants.

I asked her if there was anything on her person, or anything in the car I should be concerned about. She became silent, and would not make eye contact with me, but instead looked at the ground before looking back at the car. I told her that she should be honest with me the first time, and repeated the question. After a long hesitation she said “Yes…yes.” At this point ZZZZ became even more fidgety, constantly looking back at the vehicle. I asked her if there was anything dangerous in the car, and she said, “Well…I don’t know everything that’s in the car.” I informed her I wasn’t concerned about a little bit of marijuana, and then asked her if there was a gun in the car. She looked down at the ground, then back up and whispered, “Yes.” I asked her where it was. She told me “It’s in my bag”, which was located in the front passenger seat. I asked who’s gun it was, but she just said, “Someone threw it in there.” She also was concerned that the other occupants would know she told me about the gun, and asked me to not go right over to the bag.

I asked the other officers on scene to remove the remaining two occupants, Mr. XXXX and YYYY from the back seat. I immediately went over to where ZZZZ had been sitting; in the front passenger seat. I located two purse style bags. While looking into the bag that was on the floorboard, closest to the center console, I saw the handle of a black firearm protruding between some items within the bag. I alerted the other officers of the firearm, and everyone was placed into handcuffs for officer safety. I placed YYYY and ZZZZ in handcuffs, and read them their rights pursuant to Miranda from a card I keep on my person. Mr. Escobar was placed in handcuffs by Officer Anderson, and Mr. XXXX by Officer Granitsas. Officer Anderson read Mr. Escobar and Mr. XXXX their rights (Refer to Officer Anderson’s supplemental report). I also read Mr. Escobar his rights pursuant to Miranda from a card I keep on my person. The gun was identified as a black Ruger 9mm. The gun had a magazine with 7, 9mm bullets inside. I called into dispatch and requested a female to search ZZZZ and YYYY. Detective Goncalves (D20) arrived on scene and searched YYYY and ZZZZ, along with their belongings that were in the car. Mr. XXXX and Mr. Escobar were searched by Officer Granitsas and Anderson. I asked who’s gun it was, and Mr. Escobar said, “It’s my gun.” Mr. Escobar was under 21, and not entitled to a license to carry a handgun.

I performed a search of the remainder of the vehicle, and found several bags of marijuana, which have been tagged in destruction. The vehicle was towed by Pat’s Towing authorized by the street supervisor, Sergeant Gobiel (S8). YYYY, and Mr. XXXX denied having any knowledge of the firearm, and stated they had just been picked up because of the accident earlier, and needed a ride. YYYY, ZZZZ and Mr. XXXX were taken out of handcuffs, and allowed to be on their way. ZZZZ was able to call her godmother to come get her, YYYY and the child.

Mr. Escobar was transported to the Somerville Police Station in marked prisoner transport vehicle unit 200, operated by Officer Desrochers. He was booked by the shift commander, Lieutenant Deoliveira. Mr. Escobar is being charged with the following:

MGL C269 S10N – Firearm, Carry with Ammunition

MGL c269 S10 – Firearm Without FID Card, Posses

MGL c90 S10 – Unlicensed Operation of MV

MGL c89 S9 – Stop/ Yield Fail

Mr. Escobar was issued MA Uniform Citation T0702032 for the traffic violations. During the booking process, Mr. Escobar made some additional statements. Refer to Officer Desrochers supplemental report. Due to ZZZZ’s child being in the car, I will be filing a 51A with DCF. Photos of the firearm, magazine, ammunition and marijuana have been attached to this report.

The Marijuana was tagged in for destruction (Tag #18018639-1)

The firearm/ magazine was tagged in to evidence (Tag #18018639-2) (Firearm serial number 327-38509)

The ammunition was tagged into evidence (Tag #18018639-2)

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Kevin Goulart #326

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