Real Life Somerville Police Stories (OUI Liquor) Arrest

On 02/28/2023, while assigned to marked unit East-4, I was dispatched to the area of 1 Main Street, later to be changed to 5 Main Street for reports of a motor vehicle accident. Upon my arrival Somerville Fire spoke to me and pointed out the two drivers.

I made my way over to the operator of the striking vehicle, later to be identified as Ms. Svetlana Colangelo. Ms. Colangelo was walking in the roadway with one of the Somerville fire fighters. I noticed she was unsteady on her feet walking towards her car. I walked up to Ms. Colangelo to ask her what happened and I immediately noticed her eyes to be red, glossy, and watery. I also noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from her person as she spoke. She stated to me that she got into an argument with her husband and left the house to go for a drive. She then struck the parked motor vehicle and pulled forward. While I was speaking to her she was leaning against her vehicle for balance. She then attempted to get in her vehicle and drive before my self and a member of the fire department stopped her. I requested an additional unit and East-1 (Officer Ubeda) responded. While waiting I asked Ms. Colangelo if she had been drinking this evening. She stated no. I asked her if she had taken any medications this evening and she stated yes. When I asked what she took she did not answer me. I asked if they were prescribed to her and she stated no. I asked her again what she had taken, in fear of a possible overdose and she would not directly answer and began telling me that I didn’t understand and was yelling about her husband cheating on her. Once Officer Ubeda arrived, I went to speak to the other operator in the accident. Mr. XXXX. He stated he was in his vehicle eating when he was rear ended, spilling his food across his chest. The initial call came in for a party with injury but Mr. XXXX declined medical attention and he shortly later left. Officer Ubeda gave him the information he would need to file with his insurance as the damage was minor.
When I again went to speak to Ms. Colangelo again she was offered medical attention which she declined several times.
I explained to Ms. Colangelo that I would be performing roadside assessments to determine if she was safe to continue operating her motor vehicle. We went into the laundromat where the ground was dry, and clear of debris and the inside was well lit. I should note the laundromat has CCTV and I will be requesting the video footage from them during the day when an employee is present. I asked Ms. Colangelo if she wore contacts and she stated no. I asked if she had any injuries and she stated no. I asked if she was prescribed any medication and she stated no. I asked if she wore glasses and she said sometimes. I asked if she normally wore them while driving and she stated yes. I would note that there is no restrictions on her driver’s license. I asked her again if she had taken any medications and she stated no. I asked her if she had been drinking and she stated that she drank vodka. She was unsure on the amount and the time that she drank it.
We began the assessments.
I would note that prior to every test, I explained the instructions and demonstrated when possible (Walk and turn/One leg stand.) I also gave her the opportunity to ask questions. Prior to performing each assessment I asked if she understood the instructions and she, each time stated yes.
First assessment was Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. This detects the involuntary jerking of the eyes while following a stimulus. The stimulus for this would be a pen light I keep in my vest.
I explained to Ms. Colangelo that I would need her to follow the light with her eyes and her eyes only, without moving her head. She stated she understood. I attempted to perform this several times, she was unable to perform this without moving her head. I then told her to hold her face between her hands and she then could not follow the light properly with her eyes, anticipating he movement and then stopping and looking forward again.

I terminated this test and we moved onto the walk and turn.

I showed her how I would like her to stand. Ms. Colangelo was wearing slippers and I suggested she take them off as it would make the test easier for her. In my experience, any type of slipper or flip flop sandal will get stepped on during the test and trip people up.
During the instructional phase Ms. Colangelo was not able to maintain her stance or balance. She also came out of the position and I had to correct her.
I instructed her that she would be taking nine heel-to-toe steps, while keeping her arms down by her side, counting out loud, and then make a turn, while keeping her front foot planted and with the rear foot she would make a series of small steps, then take nine heel-to-toe steps back while counting out loud.
On the first nine steps, she did not take a single heel-to-toe step.
She did not exactly step off the line
she did use her arms for balance, including touching the machines
She did not count out loud
I counted a total of ten steps
her turn was not as instructed.
on the second set she asked me how many steps to take again and I reminded her
she did not make heel-to-toe steps
she did not step off the line
she used her arms for balance
she did not count
she took a total of 14 steps, when I asked how many steps she took, she said she thinks 12.

Next was the one leg stand.
I explained that I wanted her to keep first her left foot planted and to raise her right foot, 6 inches off the ground, keeping her foot parallel to the ground, during this I wanted her to count in the “One Thousand one, One thousand two, one thousand three, etc) until I told her to stop.
I told her to keep her eyes on the tip of her toe while her foot was raised, to keep her arms down by her sides, and if she were to drop her foot, pick it up and resume counting.
She dropped her foot on 3,4,5,6 and was using her the machine to hold onto, I explained several times she could not do that. I stopped the test for safety.
There was now down time as Ms. Colangelo asked for time to compose her self. I allowed this. She continued to tell me I was not being compassionate due to finding out her husband cheated on her. This went on for several minutes.
Eventually we were able to resume the test.
I explained and demonstrated again. Ms. Colangelo stated she understood and had no questions. I also explained she could not hold onto the machines.
After several seconds into the test she was still holding onto the machine and I stopped the test.

At this point I explained to Ms. Colangeo that she was under arrest for suspicion of operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
I placed her in cuffs (DL) and officer Ubeda stayed with her inside while I went to the cruiser to fill out her citation (MA uniform citation T11829278)
When I returned I read Ms. Colangelo her rights from a card I keep in my vest. She stated she did not understand the rights as I read them to her and I stopped there.

Ms. Colangelo was transported to the Somerville Police Department via the prisoner transport vehicle (Unit 200) and was booked in the usual fashion by Lieutenant Fusco

Ms. Colangelo performed a Breath test.
Two tests were administerd.
The first one was outside of the acceptable tolerances at.22 and .24 and the second one was a .20 and .21 with a final result of .20

All paperwork will be submitted into evidence
Video footage will be preserved and tagged in as well once it becomes available

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Christopher Fusco #328

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