Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Walter ORELLANA (OUI Liquor, OUI Drugs, Unlicensed Op of MV)

On 7/28/2018, I (Officer Devin Schneider) was in full uniform while assigned to marked cruiser East-1, along with my partner Officer Kevin Goulart, while working the 4pm-12am shift. At approximately 9:30pm, Officer Goulart and I were on patrol in the area of the former Circuit City parking lot adjacent to Home Depot, located at 75 Mystic Avenue. It was at this time that we observed a white Ford Econovan parked in the edge of the empty parking lot, with the lights out. I would note: Circuit City has been out of business for several years, and it is unlikely that anyone would be in the edge of the parking lot for any legitimate purposes. Officer Goulart and I could smell the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the area of the van. The van suddenly started, then pulled out towards Grand Union Boulevard. I observed that the license plate light on the back of the van was not functioning.

The van took a right onto Grand Union Boulevard, a public way in the City of Somerville. I initiated a motor vehicle stop using my blue lights, and the van pulled to the right of the road. I approached the operator, while Officer Goulart approached the passenger side of the vehicle. As I approached the open driver’s side window, I observed smoke that had the odor of marijuana billowing from the window. The smoke was so thick, it caused me to cough. I asked for the operator’s driver’s license and registration, and he stated that he did not have a valid driver’s license. The operator provided me with his El Salvadorian passport, which identified him as Walter Orellana.

I asked Orellana if he had been smoking marijuana, and he stated that he had. Orellana showed me a bag containing a green leafy substance, that I believed, based on my training and experience, to be marijuana. In the bag was a silver cylinder, that I know based upon my training and experience to be a grinder, used to separate marijuana leaves from the stems and seeds.

As I conversed with Orellana, I could detect the odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath. Orellana’s demeanor was dazed and disoriented. I asked Orellana how much he had to drink, and he stated he had a couple of beers in the morning. I observed that Orellana had dilated pupils, that his eyes were glassy and extremely bloodshot. As Orellana spoke, I believed his speech to be slurred.

I asked Orellana to exit the vehicle. As he exited the van, he stumbled, and seemed unsteady on his feet. We went over to the sidewalk, which was well illuminated by streetlights and lights from the cruiser. Officer Samir Messaoudi (T-9) arrived on scene to assist. Orellana agreed to perform some basic roadside coordination assessments. I would respectfully note, I am certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, and I am a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE #29733.)

The area where the assessments were administered was a flat paved sidewalk, free from any apparent defects. Prior to administering the tests, I asked Orellana if he had any physical impairments or medical conditions that would prevent him from taking the assessments, and he stated no. I explained and demonstrated each of the assessments, and asked if Orellana understood the assessments. Orellana indicated he understood each of the assessments. Orellana was wearing blue Nike sneakers, and stated that he was comfortable doing the tests in them. Orellana had no resting Nystagmus, and his pupils were equal in size. Orellana stated that he did not wear contacts or glasses.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

I used my finger as a stimulus from the eye tests. 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 Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees in the left eye, but not the right eye.

Vertical Gaze Nystagmus

I observed vertical gaze Nystagmus.

Lack of Convergence

Orellana’s eyes were unable to converge on the stimulus as it came within 2″ if the bridge of his nose.

Pupil Size

I measured Orellana’s pupils to be 5 mm in diameter in direct light, which is outside the normal range for DRE purposes and is considered dilated.

Walk and Turn

The line used for this test was an imaginary line along the side walk. I instructed Orellana to assume the starting position and stand stay at that position until told to start. Orellana began to walk early on two occasions despite my instructions not to, and was unable to keep balance in the starting position. During the first 9 steps, Orellana missed his heel to toe, and stepped off line twice. Orellana then turned, doing a sudden turn about face, as opposed to a series of small steps as instructed. He then walked 3 steps and stopped, instead of the instructed 9 steps back, and asked me how many steps he was supposed to walk. I informed him that it was 9 steps. Orellana then walked 15 steps.

One Leg Stand

I used my wrist watch to time the one leg stand. After explaining and demonstrating the assessment, Orellana indicated that he understood what he had to do. I instructed Orellana to begin. On the count of 2, Orellana put his foot down. He then began counting again, and dropped his foot on the count of 1. He began a third time, and dropped his foot on the count of 2. On the fourth attempt, Orellana counted to 10 before the 30 second test was completed. I observed Orellana sway and use his arms for balance during the assessment.

Modified Rhomberg Balance Test

I instructed Orellana to stand with his feet and hands together, tilt his head back, close his eyes, and estimate the passage of 30 seconds. I used my wrist watch to keep track of time. After 73 seconds, Orellana opened his eyes and said stop. I asked Orellana how much time had elapsed, and he stated 5 minutes. I asked Orellana how long I had asked him to estimate, and he could not recall. I allowed Orellana to conduct the assessment again, and this time he opened his eyes and said stop after 15 seconds.

PBT

I had Orellana blow into a portable breathalyzer testing device (PBT). The result was 0.087 BAC.

I placed Orellana under arrest, handcuffing him in a manner consistent with my training. He was transported back to the station in prisoner transport unit 200, operated by Officer Roger Desrochers. At the station, he was booked in the usual manner by Lt. William Rymill. Orellana was informed of all his rights, and refused to take a blood alcohol test. Orellana was offered a drug recognition evaluation by Drug Recognition Expert Officer Samir Messaoudi, and refused.

Orellana is being charged with the following violation of M.A. General Law:

Ch. 90 / S. 10 – Operating Without a License

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

Ch. 90 / S. 24(1)(a)(1) – Operating Under the Influence of Drugs

A friend of Orellana who was a licensed operator who arrived on scene and took possession of the van. The marijuana and grinder was seized, and placed into evidence in the usual manner. The OUI forms will also be entered into evidence. Orellana was issued MA uniform citation T0700999

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Devin Schneider

Badge #295

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