LEICESTER, Mass. — Leicester Police Chief Jim Hurley's dispatch for The Daily Voice compiles the incidents and cases that Leicester police come across on the beat each week.
Being a police officer is like no other job in the world. It can best be described as having a ringside seat to the greatest show on earth every day. As you read the accounts set forth in the Leicester Police Department update, it is important to remember:
- We could not make this stuff up if we tried.
- No one lies to the police.
The names of the individuals involved in the cases discussed in this column have not been published to protect their identity.
Operating Under the Influence Patrols
Speeding & Alcohol = Arrest - An LPD officer on routine patrol on Stafford Street in the early morning hours (2 a.m.) had a vehicle pass by him traveling in the opposite direction at 57 mph in a posted 40 mph zone. STRIKE 1.
The officer reversed direction and caught up to the vehicle just in time to observe it operating down the center of the roadway on the dividing line. STRIKE 2.
The officer stopped the motor vehicle and approached the female operator for her license and registration. While the officer spoke with the operator, he detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage and the woman’s speech was slurred — all of which led the officer to suspect that the woman had been operating under the influence of alcohol.
The officer inquired how much the woman had to drink and she replied, “Three beers all night” STRIKE 2½. Things are not looking good.
The officer administered several field sobriety tests which the woman failed. STRIKE 3.
The woman was arrested and transported to the LPD for booking. During the booking, she elected to take the breathalyzer, which resulted in her registering a 0.19 percent, which appears to be a lot more than three beers all night. Oh, and just for added problems, the officers located prescription pills in the woman’s purse for which she could not produce a prescription during the booking process. This resulted in the addition of an illegal possession of a Class E Controlled Substance charge.
Acting Is Not In This Woman’s Future – An LPD officer on patrol observed a motor vehicle traveling east on Route 9 in the westbound lane at approximately 1:30 a.m.
As the officer began to follow the vehicle, he observed it put on its right directional and pull back into the eastbound lane. STRIKE 1.
Now with the vehicle back in the correct lane, the officer could safely conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle. The officer requested the driver’s license and registration from the operator, who responded by handing the officer a blank accident report. STRIKE 2.
While the officer spoke with the operator, he detected an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, bloodshot and glassy eyes. STRIKE 3.
The officer asked the operator to perform several field sobriety tests. Prior to starting the tests, the officer asked the operator if she had any physical impairment that would affect her performing the tests.
The woman told the officer she had “one leg.” The officer asked the operator for clarification and she stated that she had one eye missing a contact lens. STRIKE 4.
The officer administered the field sobriety tests which the woman failed. STRIKE 5.
She was arrested for operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor. So if you thought things had gone poorly for this woman up to now – stand by.
Back at the LPD, the woman underwent the normal booking process until the time came for some of the real hard questions:
What is your father’s name?
What is your mother’s name?
“I forgot.” STRIKE 6.
We were feeling generous at this point so we only gave her one strike for her answer to both questions. The officers then attempted to administer a breathalyzer after she indicated she would take it.
The woman, in a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination, pretended to blow into the machine. STRIKE 7.
The LPD officers afforded her a second opportunity, which resulted in an even a worse performance than her first attempt. STRIKE 8.
She was actually out a long time ago and is facing charges of operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked lanes and failure to notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) of change of address.
A Poor Attempt At A Hit & Run, And A Poor Explanation About The Damage To The Car – During the height of a recent snow storm, the LPD dispatch center received a call from a concerned citizen who reported a vehicle being operated erratically near Stafford Street and Route 56.
Two LPD units were dispatched to the scene. As an LPD officer approached the area, he was nearly struck head-on by the vehicle, which was traveling down the middle of Huntoon Memorial Highway without any headlights on. STRIKE 1 – Big Time!
The LPD officer reversed directions and, before he activated his emergency lights, he came upon the suspect vehicle stopped in the middle of Route 56, partially blocking both travel lanes.
The officer spoke with the operator and detected those tell-tail signs of intoxication: bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech and an odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. STRIKE 2.
The officer requested that the driver step from the vehicle. However, the operator just kept saying to the officer, “Here take my license,” while trying to hand the officer a sales receipt from a local store. STRIKE 3.
The officer also noticed what appeared to be fresh damage to the motor vehicle the man was operating, so the officer asked the man what he had hit. The response was difficult to understand, but it appeared to be, “My car is a piece of sh@#; I did not hit anything.” STRIKE 4.
The man would later tell police he hit a 12-point buck in Charlton. The only problem was that there were no animal parts on his vehicle to support this claim. STRIKE 5.
The officer then asked the man where he was going and he indicated that he and his friend were en route to the friend’s house. When the officer informed the man he was alone in the car, he indicated that he thought his friend was still with him. STRIKE 6. Wow!
The man was arrested and subsequently consented to a breathalyzer, which resulted in a reading of a 0.21 percent, which is pretty high. He has already been arraigned in the East Brookfield District Court.
The officers determined that the man had also struck a utility pole on Stafford Street and conveniently left one of his vehicle’s headlights at the scene, along with some other evidence. Moral of the story: Some people just should not drink.
It is that time of the year again. Winter has set in, and cold makes it less appealing to get out and about. While staying home in the warmth and comfort of your home seems appealing to some, it is just too much together time for others.
This leads to a sharp increase in the number of domestic disturbance calls received by the LPD. Here is a snapshot of a few of those calls from the past several weeks:
A 23-year-old woman was arrested after officers responded to a call reporting a domestic disturbance at the woman’s residence. The officers who arrived at the scene heard the disturbance still going and observed signs that a physical altercation had taken place inside the home.
The 23-year-old woman was charged with domestic assault and battery based on her allegedly punching her mother in the face.
The woman was also charged with intimidation of a witness after she forcibly removed the phone from her mother’s hand and disabled it to keep her mother from calling the police.
A juvenile was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery after she allegedly attacked her mother while the mother was driving her to school. The juvenile wanted the mother to take the juvenile for a piercing, and when the mother refused, the juvenile began punching the mother while she was driving the vehicle. After assaulting the mother, the juvenile threw her breakfast at the mother.
Police responded to a local residence to quell a disturbance between a mother and her daughter that revolved around running the washing machine late at night. Officers were able to calm both parties down and resolve the matter amicably. This incident did not involve any physical violence, so no arrests were made.
In addition to the aforementioned domestics, the LPD logged five other domestic-related incidents during the past several weeks, a number of which resulted in arrests.
Other Noteworthy Arrests & Incidents
Twice In 2½ Hours – An officer working traffic enforcement at approximately 5 a.m. recently stopped a motor vehicle for speeding. The male operator produced his license and registration and the LPD officer was writing out a ticket when the mobile data terminal in the officer’s cruiser indicated that the driver’s license was suspended.
The officer arrested the operator, his vehicle was towed from the scene, and he was transported him to the LPD where he was booked and bailed. Not a good way to start your morning commute. After the man was bailed, he became irate in the lobby of the police station, ranting and raving about how he wanted his vehicle released from the tow yard immediately.
The man became even more irate when he found out that he would have to make arraignments with the tow yard. He became disruptive despite officers trying to calm him down multiple times. After attempting to defuse the situation without success, the man was re-arrested. Getting arrested twice in 2½ hours is not an easy task.
Nice Guys Can Go To Jail – An officer on routine patrol located and stopped a motor vehicle for being unregistered and uninsured shortly after midnight recently. The vehicle was towed, based on the nature of the violation, and the female operator was issued a citation that would require her to appear in court at a later date.
The woman, now in need of a ride home, called upon a male friend to come and pick her up. The male friend promptly responded to pick up his female friend. When the man arrived, however, the officer, who had stopped the female, ran a check on the man picking her up, which indicated he had an outstanding arrest warrant. The officer confirmed the arrest warrant was in full force and effect and then took the man into custody. He was later able to post bail and was released. There was no word on who he would call to come pick him up.
Beware Of IRS Scams
One of the two things that are certain in life are taxes, and with the tax season comes scams from individuals and organizations that misrepresent themselves as the IRS. These scams have only one goal: STEALING YOUR MONEY! Several Leicester residents have already been targeted by these types of scams.
The IRS wants the public to know it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
A local resident was recently contacted by phone. The caller identified itself as an IRS representative and left a message for the resident that it was imperative to call the IRS back by the end of the day. The caller provided an 800 number for the resident to call by the end of the day. It is important to note that the call back number was a different number from the number used to contact the resident (thank you caller ID). The resident also conducted an Internet search of the phone numbers and found that they were both flagged as being involved in scams.
The following was taken directly from the IRS, and warns that taxpayers should be wary of any of the following:
- Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on excess or withheld Social Security benefits.
- Claims that Treasury Form 1080 can be used to transfer funds from the Social Security Administration to the IRS, enabling a payout from the IRS.
- Unfamiliar for-profit tax services teaming up with local churches.
- Home-made flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
- Offers of free money with no documentation required.
- Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
- Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or Recovery Rebate Credit.
- Advice on claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit based on exaggerated reports of self-employment income.
National Drug Take Back VI
The next National Drug Take Back has been scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at the Leicester Recycling Center, 200 Manville St. in Leicester. Once again, the team at the Recycling Center will work with the LPD to collect unused, unwanted and outdated prescription medication. If you can’t make the National Drug Take Back, you are welcome to use the 24-hour drug drop off kiosk in the Leicester Police Station lobby.
The opinions set forth in this article are those of Chief James Hurley and do not represent the opinions of the Town of Leicester or other members of the Leicester Police Department.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the residents of the community for their continued support of the police department and also to thank all the men and women of the LPD for the professional and effective work they do in the community.
Chief Jim Hurley