On 12/6/2018, I (Officer Devin Schneider) was in full uniform while assigned to marked cruiser East-1 during the 4pm-12am shift. The following report is a summary of the events that I witnessed, as they pertain to incident #18071992:
At around 7:30pm, I responded to Kmart (77 Middlesex Avenue) for a report of a shoplifter who was being uncooperative with store Loss Prevention. I arrived on scene at the Kmart parking lot where a female, later identified as Lesley Smith, approached me as I pulled up in the cruiser. Smith stated that she had been caught shoplifting. I explained to her that she had to follow Loss Prevention back to their office so they could process her information, and she refused. After a few seconds of arguing with Smith, she complied and followed Loss Prevention Officer XXXX back to the LP Office.
While in the LP office, Smith was uncooperative. After speaking with Loss Prevention Officer XXXX, I learned that additional items Smith had stolen were in her vehicle that was parked the parking lot. Officer Chris Fusco (East-4), LPO XXXX, and I escorted Smith to her vehicle, where she opened her trunk and to retrieve the stolen merchandise. Also present was Lesley Smith’s sister: XXXX. Smith had several Kmart shopping bags in her trunk with various items, some stolen, some with receipts. As I was verifying the items in Smith’s bag, my arms were inside the trunk and I heard Lesley Smith say “excuse me,” which was the only warning I had before she slammed the trunk shut. The lip of the trunk door struck the knuckle of my left ring finger as I tried to pull my hands out.
I placed Smith into handcuffs in a manner consistent with my training, double locking the handcuffs and checking for proper tightness. After querying Smith’s driver’s license through Somerville dispatch, I learned that she had an active warrant for her arrest from Lynn District Court (Docket #1713CR000180A).
While waiting for prisoner transport, Smith requested that I adjust the handcuffs as she felt they were too tight. I checked the tightness of the handcuffs again, and found them to be the proper tightness, however I adjusted her left handcuff by one click. Officer Ashley Catatao (East-3) arrived on scene and performed the pat frisk of Smith. Smith was then transported back to the Somerville Police Station in prisoner transport unit 200, operated by Officer Mike Cleary. At the station, she was booked in the usual manner by the Commanding Officer: Lt. William Rymill.
I will be filing a criminal complaint against Lesley Smith for Assault and Battery on a Police Officer. I would respectfully note: at the time of writing this report (10:00pm) my left ring finger knuckle is throbbing with pain where Smith hit it with the trunk door. Kmart Loss Prevention did not wish to pursue criminal charges for the shoplifting.
Officer Devin Schneider