Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Samson WOLDU (A&B on Public Employee, Resisting)

On Saturday, June 12, 2021, while working a First Half shift, assigned to marked unit West 6, at approximately 9:57 PM, I was dispatched to check condition in front of 155 College Ave. Marked Unit West 7 (Officer Al Gee), was also dispatched.

The call was a check condition on a party slumped over the wheel inside a black Chevy Malibu. Tufts University Officer Briana Florio, and Sgt. Cody Tremblay were on scene when Officer Gee and I arrived. Officer Florio stated that she had knocked on the car window approximately ten times, and didn’t get a response from the male party later identified as Samson Woldu. Officer Florio then opened the driver’s side door to assess Mr. Woldu’s condition and shook his shoulder attempting to wake him up. When I arrived Mr. Woldu was awake, but wasn’t coherent in his explanation of what had taken place. He seemed confused and out of it, but stated he was parked in front of his house, which was confirmed. Throughout our interaction with Mr. Woldu, he was hostile towards the firefighters, and Officer Florio and myself. He repeatedly stated that we were there because he was black, and assured us that he was born and raised in Somerville, and had a valid American Passport. Mr. Woldu asked for Officer Florio’s, Officer Gee’s, and my badge numbers and name multiple times, and he was provided with that information all those times. Mr. Woldu appeared to have some form of an altered mental state.

We had Mr. Woldu evaluated by Cataldo, and he refused medical attention. We adivsed him to get inside the house, as he had fallen asleep inside his vehicle. We cleared the call, and Officer Florio and I stood by my cruiser which was in front of 151 College Ave, talking. Sgt. Tremblay was inside his cruiser across the street. Mr. Woldu was heard having a phone conversation loudly, while seated in his vehicle. He then exited his vehicle and approached Officer Florio and I. He repeatedly asked for our names and badge numbers, and stated he didn’t know the reason we were there harassing him. Mr. Woldu was provided with the requested information. He then pulls out his phone and advises that he is recording. He turns on his phones’ flash light and shines it on my face, standing inches away. I asked him to turn off the flash light, and back off, as he was within a space that made me feel unsafe. He refused, I then covered the flash light with my hands, and he smacked my hand away. He turned to officer Florio and did the same thing. She also requested that he back away at a safe distance. Mr. Woldu then stands in the middle of the roadway with his phone pointed at us, and comes extremely close to my face with his phone once again. Officer Florio touches his phone, to create distance from my face, and Mr. Woldu smacks her hands away. We advised him that he was going to be placed under arrest of assaulting a police officer, and requested that he place his hands behind his back. He refused to do so, and both Officer Florio and I grabbed each of his forearm, attempting to place them behind his back. Mr. Woldu resisted, twisting his body and using physical force to pull his arms away. When we were able to place Mr. Woldu in handcuffs, re attempted getting away. We had to physically restrain him, and force him to sit while waiting for backup. Mr. Woldu continued resisting until Officers Joe Rivera and All Gee arrived as backup.

Mr. Woldu was placed under arrest for the charges of 265/13D Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, for two counts, and 268/32B Resisting Arrest. He was transported by 200 to the station at 220 Washington St., and was booked in the usual manner by the shift commander, Captain Lavey. Mr. Waldu was offered medical assistance for a minor scratch on his left knee, sustained while resisting arrest. I will be filing a use of force report.

Respectfully submitted,

Edna DaCosta #346
Somerville Police Department

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