LEICESTER, Mass. — 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.
House and Car Break Update
Leicester continues, like every community, to have housebreaks. Currently, the number of housebreaks in our community is lower than many of the surrounding and area communities. Over the past three weeks, there have been three housebreaks.
There were also three car breaks during the same three-week period. This number is a substantial decrease and is likely the result of a recent arrest made by Leicester Police Department officers several weeks ago when officers located and arrested a suspect fleeing from a car break.
Fatal Accident Update
In 2011, the Leicester Police Department was recognized by AAA for having gone 19 years without a pedestrian fatality in the community. That is quite an achievement, but unfortunately, on Aug. 10 the long safety streak came to an end. A 58-year-old man was struck and killed walking near the 700 block of Stafford Street shortly after midnight.
The investigation is ongoing and is being jointly conducted by the Leicester Police Department, Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council’s Accident Reconstruction Unit, and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.
Leicester Police Department investigators have executed a search warrant in connection with the case and continue to gather evidence. Investigators are also looking to speak with any motorists who were in the area of the accident and may have seen the pedestrian. They can contact Detective Timothy Fontaine at 508-892-7010, Ext. 2016, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates On Previous Cases
Marshall Street Motorcycle Accident – Investigators from the Leicester Police Department and the department’s Accident Reconstructionist have concluded their investigation into the June 16 motorcycle accident on Marshall Street that left a Spencer man seriously injured.
As a result of the investigation, the operator of the motorcycle was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and speeding.
The operator, who has been released from the hospital, still has a long road to recovery. I will provide updates on the prosecution of this case as they become available.
DNA Match Leads To Housebreak Suspect Being Identified – In what could have been a segment of "Law and Order" or "CSI," a homeowner walked in on a housebreak in progress at his home.
The suspect fled that home on foot and ran down the street. Leicester Police converged on the scene and secured a perimeter. A K-9 unit arrived and began to track the suspect. So far so good, but eventually the suspect eluded being captured and police had to rely on evidence from the crime scene. Leicester Police Department investigators located a bottle of Gatorade in the home that apparently was left by the perpetrator.
It was collected as evidence, secured and sent to the lab for processing. This week, the lab matched the DNA on the bottle to a person the Leicester Police Department long suspected of committing the housebreak.
Now armed with scientific proof that linked the suspect to the crime, the Leicester Police Department charged the suspect with breaking and entering. This investigation, unlike the aforementioned television shows that solve crimes in one-hour segments, took almost two years to complete, but Leicester Police Department investigators never gave up.
The suspect will be appearing in court in the near future. I would like to commend the officers who worked on this case for their perseverance and the homeowner for never giving up on the Leicester Police Department solving the case.
Other Noteworthy Incidents and Arrests
I Think I Should Call My Dad – The young man in the cell was only 18. He was out drinking with three juveniles and causing a disturbance at a local business when he was arrested.
The man was charged with open container of alcohol, person under 21 in possession of alcohol and disturbing the peace. This is the stupid stuff kids do on a weekend that later in life they regret.
After being placed in an Leicester Police Department holding cell, which can sober a person up faster than usual, the young man asked an officer if he could call one of his parents. But there was no need to call — just to talk loudly.
Unbeknownst to the young man, his father was in custody and being held in the cell right next to him. Believe it or not, dear old dad had been arrested the night before for operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and was being held on bail at the Leicester Police Department.
Even more coincidental was that dear old dad was arrested the night before at the same business where the son was taken into custody. These two give a whole new meaning to a family reunion weekend.
Oh, and by the way, there are no group discounts on bail.
A Rolling Pharmacy – A Leicester Police Department officer on routine patrol at 2:30 a.m. took note of a passing motor vehicle with a loud exhaust. The officer ran the license plate of the motor vehicle through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle’s database using the cruiser’s mobile data terminal.
The RMV computer response indicated that the vehicle had recently failed inspection, which provided the Leicester Police Department officer with probable cause to stop the motor vehicle. When the vehicle pulled over, the officer noticed that one of the occupants of the vehicle was ducking down out of the officer’s sight in a manner consistent with that of a person who was hiding something under the seat of the vehicle.
The officer obtained the operator’s license and registration and identified one of the three passengers in the motor vehicle as an individual with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. As the officer continued his investigation, he learned that a second passenger also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
The officer took the men into custody and then he discovered a small amount of an illegal narcotic. One man indicated to the officer that there was drug paraphernalia in the car. A thorough search of the men and the vehicle led to the discovery of marijuana, LSD (also known as acid), a white granular crystallized substance that appeared to the officer to be methamphetamine, and a variety of drug paraphernalia.
Both men were charged with possession of a Class B controlled substance. The male passenger, who police tied directly to the bulk of the narcotics, was also charged with possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute.
Domestic Dispute Results In Injuries And Arrest – Officers from the Leicester Police Department recently responded to a late night (11:30 p.m.) domestic at a local residence. The caller reported that her ex-boyfriend was drunk and had pushed her around and attempted to choke her.
The first officer who arrived at the scene located the ex-boyfriend a short distance from the victim’s home. The man had a bloody nose and indicated that his girlfriend had struck him. The officer interviewed the woman who initially called the police, and she provided a far different story.
The woman told the officers that the ex-boyfriend grabbed her by the throat and pushed her into a door, breaking the door and damaging the door frame.
During the struggle, the man burned the female on her chest and arm with a cigar he was smoking. When the man was told he was being placed under arrest, he attempted to break free from the officers as they were attempting to handcuff him.
He was charged with assault and battery, domestic abuse, disorderly conduct, malicious destruction of property over $250, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest.
I Had A Few Too Many – Officers from the Leicester Police Department responded to a call at 1:45 a.m. after a resident called reporting that there was man in her driveway wearing all black clothing and one shoe: STRIKE #1.
The man told the woman he had been involved in a car accident: STRIKE #2. Before arriving at the residence where the man was located, officers came across a motor vehicle on its roof and it also had front end damage.
A nearby utility pole was also snapped in half and power was out on the section of the street near the accident scene. The Leicester Police Department officers located the operator of the vehicle, and, yes, he was the man in the driveway who was missing one shoe. When asked whether he was injured, the man responded, “No. I’m fine.” The man then stated, “I had a few too many drinks, and I was driving home. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone.” STRIKE #3.
The officer asked the suspect how much he had to drink and the man replied, “Two shots of tequila and a couple of beers.” STRIKE #4. This guy really struck out.
So as you have probably guessed, the man was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation.
A local resident recently received a prize award notice from the Financial Acquisition Agency, P.O. Box 527800, Miami, Florida. The notice informed the resident that he had won $2,536,092.23 in prize money.
In order to claim the prize money, the resident needed to send the company a $20 transfer fee, allowing them to release the money. A check of this company was conducted by the Leicester Police Department and this is clearly an advance fee fraud. Remember anything that requires you to pay money up front to get money is likely a scam. Also remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
If you have any questions on this scam or have been contacted by this company, please call the Leicester Police Department and report the attempted fraud. Thank you to the resident who reported the incident.
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 Leicester Police Department for the professional and effective work they do in the community.
Chief Jim Hurley e/s
Leicester Police Department