Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Justin ZOMPANTI (OUI Liquor, Malicious Destr of Prop Over)

On 4/29/2018, I (Officer Devin Schneider) was in full uniform while assigned to marked cruiser East-1 during the 4pm-12am shift. At approximately 5:50pm I was dispatched to the area of Assembly Row for a report of a male who had smashed through the garage gate, then smacked the phone out of the parking attendant’s hand at the parking garage located adjacent to the AMC Theater at Assembly. I would note: the garage is an area that the public has a right of access to. Officer Eddie Soares (East-3), Officer Kevin Goulart (East-4), and Officer Samir Messaoudi (Tango-9) responded as well.

I arrived in the area a short time later, where I was updated by dispatch that  Assembly Row Security had witnessed the male suspect flee into XXXX (6xx Assembly Row.) I met with Assembly Row Security Manager XXXX, who stated that the suspect was a white male, muscular build, brownish hair, and had many tattoos. Officer Goulart, Officer Messaoudi and I went into XXXX, and were unable to locate a suspect matching the description in the main area of the restaurant. We then checked the Men’s  bathroom, where I observed feet under a stall partition. Officer Messaoudi and Goulart left to check if the suspect had left via another entrance, while I waited for the occupant of the bathroom stall to finish.

While waiting, an XXXX restaurant manager approached me and informed me that she had seen a male who seemed confused and intoxicated trying to walk into the kitchen area. She stopped him and asked him where he was going, to which he replied that he was looking for the bathroom. The manager then directed him to the bathroom, and watched him walk towards the direction of the bathroom. The manager stated that this had occurred within the past few minutes. Her description of the male matched the description that was given to me by Assembly Row Security.

I knocked on the bathroom door stall, then the occupant unlocked and opened the door. The occupant of the bathroom matched the description of the suspect. I asked the male where he was coming from and he stated that he was meeting friends. I observed that Zompanti’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, the odor of alcohol was emanating from his breath, and his speech was slow and slurred. I identified the suspect via his M.A. driver’s license as Justin Zompanti. Due to the fact that I was alone at the time, and my radio was not functioning properly inside of XXXX, I placed Zompanti into handcuffs. I then brought him outside the restaurant to the sidewalk, where I ordered Zompanti to sit on the curb multiple times, and he refused to comply. I then used minimal force to get Zompanti to sit on the curb.

I read Zompanti his Miranda rights warnings from a pre-printed card. After a few minutes, Zompanti’s attitude seemed more cooperative and I removed the handcuffs. I explained to Zompanti the reason he was being detained, then asked him for his version of the events. Zompanti stated that the issue was a misunderstanding due to an argument he had with a parking garage attendant. Zompanti had just seen the new Avengers movie at the XXXX Movie Theater in New Hampshire, then driven to Assembly Row to meet friends at XXXX. I asked Zompanti how much alcohol he had consumed, and he stated he only had a “couple” of beers. Zompanti agreed to partake in field sobriety tests, and we moved across the street to an area that was more open and had less foot traffic.

The area where the field sobriety tests were administered was a flat paved sidewalk, free from any apparent defects. The area was well lit by daylight; it was cloudy and slightly windy. I would note that I am certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, as well as Advanced Roadside Impairment Driving Enforcement. Additionally, I am a certified Drug Recognition Expert, and my DRE number is 29733.

Officer Soares and Officer Goulart were present when the tests were administered. Zompanti stated that he had no known physical impairments or medical conditions that would prevent him from taking the tests. He stated that he did not wear glasses or contacts. Prior to administrating the tests, I explained and demonstrated each of the psychophysical test, and asked the subject if he understood. Zompanti stated that he understood each test. Zompanti indicated that he was comfortable conducting the tests while wearing his green sneakers. Zompanti was able to follow the stimulus. Both of the Zompanti’s eyes were equally tracking, equal in pupil size, and had no resting Nystagmus.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

I observed lack of smooth pursuit in both the left and right eyes.

I observed distinct and sustained Nystagmus at maximum deviation in both the left and right eyes.

I observed  angle of onset prior to 45 degrees in both the left and right eyes.

Vertical Gaze Nystagmus

I observed NO vertical gaze Nystagmus.

Lack of convergence

Zompanti’s eyes were unable to converge on the stimulus as it came in within 2” of his nose. Both the left and right eyes looked straight ahead, then dropped straight down, as opposed to crossing. I asked Zompanti if he knew whether his eyes were normally unable to cross, and he stated not that he knew of.

Walk and Turn

The line used for the walk and turn test was the bisecting line between concrete slabs on the sidewalk. During the instruction stage, Zompanti lost his balance twice. Zompanti did not start the test too soon. On the first set of steps, Zompanti kept his arms raised for the entire test, despite being instructed to keep his arms by his side. Zompanti walked 25 steps, instead of the 9 as instructed, before I stopped him and told him to do the turn. When Zompanti turned, he did not use a set of small steps as instructed while keeping his lead foot planted, instead he turned using both his feet. On the second set of steps, Zompanti kept his arms raised for the entire set of steps. He walked 15 steps before I told him to stop. For both set of steps, Zompanti did not miss his heel to toe, step off line, or stop walking.

I asked Zompanti how many steps I had instructed him to take, and he stated 9, which is the correct number. When I asked Zompanti why he had taken so many steps, he said he was waiting for me to tell him when to turn.

One Leg Stand Left Foot

I used my wrist watch to time the one leg stand. Zompanti swayed while balancing twice. Zompanti raised his arms for balance multiple times. At the count of 14, Zompanti raised his arms and stated what are we doing here? I asked Zompanti what my instructions had been and he stated, you told me to count until you said to stop. Zompanti began counting again from where he left off, but at this point 30 seconds had elapsed and I stopped the test. Zompanti did not hop or put his foot down during the test.

Finger to Nose:

1st Attempt: Zompanti raised his arm half to his face then stopped. After a few seconds, he asked if he was supposed to touch is nose. I informed him he was, and he slowly finger up to his nose where he touched the tip of his finger to the tip of his nose. Zompanti kept his finger there and had to be told to drop it to his side again.

2nd Attempt: Zompanti brought his arm up slowly and touched his right nostril with the tip of his finger, as opposed to the tip of his nose as instructed. Zompanti had to be told to bring his arm down again.

3rd Attempt: Zompanti slowly touched his left nostril with the tip of his finger, as opposed to the tip of his nose as instructed.

4th Attempt: Zompanti slowly touched his right nostril with the tip of his finger, as opposed to the tip of his nose as instructed.

5th Attempt: Zompanti touched his left nostril with the tip of his finger, as opposed to the tip of his nose as instructed.

6th Attempt: Zompanti touched his right nostril with the tip of his finger, as opposed to the tip of his nose as instructed.

I formed the opinion that Zompanti was under the influence of alcohol, and placed him under arrest, handcuffing him in a manner consistent with my training (double locked.) Zompanti was transported back to the station in prisoner transport unit 200, operated by Officer Justin Buswell. At the station, he was booked in the usual manner by the Commanding Officer: Lt. William Rymill. Zompanti refused to consent to a breath alcohol test, and his license was seized. The Miranda rights form, BATS completion form, statutory rights and consent form, and operating under the influence check sheet will all be entered into evidence in the usual manner.

I then went and spoke with the Assembly Row parking garage attendants who Zompanti had the altercation with: XXXX and YYYY. XXXX is the first garage parking attendant Zompanti interacted with. According to XXXX, Zompanti had driven up to the garage gate and stated to XXXX: “give me my fucking ticket.” XXXX explained to Zompanti that the gate did not use tickets, but that Zompanti would have to use his credit card. Zompanti gave XXXX credit card, then XXXX told Zompanti that he had to insert the credit card into the gate machine himself. This agitated Zompanti, who got out of his vehicle and, according to XXXX, wanted to fight with him. XXXX’s manager, YYYY, then walked over to the altercation. YYYY told Zompanti he was going to call security, and began to dial the Assembly Row security office. Zompanti slapped the phone out of YYYY’s hand, causing it to fall to the ground and shatter. Zompanti then allegedly got back in his car, and drove it into the gate, then forced the gate open by pushing up on it through his open window.

I took a picture of YYYY’s broken Iphone 6S cell phone, and will be attaching the photo digitally to this report. YYYY stated to me that his phone was worth $650. No damage was evident on the garage gate. YYYY was able to get the plate of the vehicle that Zompanti was operating, M.A. registration xxxx. According to a query of CJISWeb, the vehicle, a 2011 Audi TTS was registered to Zompanti. Officer Goulart and I were able to locate the vehicle on the 4th floor of the garage, and towed it with authorization from the street supervisor, Sgt. Sean Sheehan.

I will charging Zompanti with the following violations of M.A. General Law:

Ch.90 / S. 24: Operating Under the Influence of Liquor

Ch.266 / 127: Malicious Destruction of Property

I mailed Zompanti M.A. Uniform citation R8604529.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Devin Schneider

Badge #295

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