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 LPD 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.
Noteworthy Arrest & Incidents
They Just Don’t Learn: You Can’t Outrun the Radio – I just don’t understand the logic behind it, but it still happens: A driver thinks they can avoid trouble by outrunning the police. It happened again several nights ago at 3:15 a.m. when an LPD officer was patrolling the Cherry Valley section of Leicester. He observed a speeding vehicle and attempted to stop the vehicle. It accelerated, eventually reaching approximately 80 mph on Main Street without any lights on. STRIKE 1 and 2.
The vehicle headed up Paxton Street and continued to flee from the officer. The officer made a decision to discontinue the pursuit based upon the road conditions and speed. He continued down Paxton Street and saw indications that the vehicle turned on to Marshall Street.
Now, this bad guy probably thought that he was home free but he forgot about an important piece of equipment called the police radio. Long before the officer had even gotten on to Main Street, he had already begun broadcasting his locations over the radio. The radio transmissions move far faster than the fleeing vehicle, so, as the updates were being given, cruisers from other area departments were positioning themselves ahead of the fleeing vehicle in hopes of intercepting the vehicle.
And as luck would have it, the fleeing vehicle had slowed down and was traveling like every other law abiding citizen along Route 9 in Spencer right in front of a State Police cruiser. The vehicle was stopped by the State Police and the operator initially denied being involved in any flight from the police – STRIKE 3 – but, eventually, as his story began to collapse, he admitted to fleeing from the officer. He will be spending some time at the East Brookfield Court in the near future, explaining his actions to the judge.
This Likely Ruined Valentine’s Day – Several weeks ago a motorist called the LPD dispatch center at 4:30 a.m. to report an erratic operator near the Leicester/Paxton town line.
The LPD officer located the vehicle and conducted a motor vehicle stop. When the officer approached the vehicle, he observed the rear view mirror of the vehicle was broken off, a portion of the windshield was broken, and blood was on the steering wheel, directional and shift lever of the vehicle. The officer also observed that a female shoe was located on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The operator had dried blood on his face and neck and his right hand was swollen.
The officer asked the operator what happened and he responded, “She was kicking me and punching me in the head.” The officer turned his attention to the female passenger and the officer could clearly observe dried blood on her face and yellow pants. She also appeared intoxicated.
The officer attempted to ascertain the female passenger’s version of the story and she told the officer, “I don’t know.” When the officer further inquired, the woman provided a similar answer.
The officer continued to investigate and was able to determine that the two love birds had been out on a date at a local comedy club and that the woman had too much to drink. On the way home the two began to argue and the woman attacked the man. The man became upset and punched the windshield breaking it. The woman was taken into custody and charged with assault and battery, domestic and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Her case is currently pending before the East Brookfield District Court.
I Am Sneaking Back Into Leicester For A Funeral - Check Out My Facebook Page For Details – The death of a relative is always difficult. In the midst of grief people just don’t think straight. That was the best excuse we could think up for this guy. He left (or maybe fled is a better term) Leicester quite a while ago and subsequently multiple warrants were issued for his arrest. STRIKE 1. Now a relative passed away and the suspect decided to quietly leave where he had secretly hidden out (Florida) and slip back into Leicester to pay his respects to his departed relative. But if you are coming all that way you should let your friends know. So this guy posted it on Facebook. STRIKE 2.
He obviously has not heard once it is on the Internet, it’s out there for good. The LPD got wind of what was going on and did a stakeout at the funeral.
Now out of respect for the deceased person and his family, the LPD did not arrest the suspect before the funeral, and there was plenty of time to do so as he arrived an hour early for the services and sat in the parking lot drinking his large coffee. We were a kinder, gentler police department and arrested him after the funeral was over.
He was taken into custody as he and his friend drove off very conspicuously. This guy did not even try to be low key. STRIKE 3.
A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous – The LPD dispatcher recently received a report of a motor vehicle rolled over on a roadway in town. The initial responding officers found the vehicle on its side with no one around it. The vehicle registration was run in the computer system and the owner of the vehicle came back listed as a man who lived a short distance from the accident scene.
The LPD officers proceeded to the owner’s home to determine who was driving the vehicle and to see if they were injured and in need of medical attention. Upon arrival the officers made contact with the man who owned the vehicle and he indicated that he was the operator. He also appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.
The LPD officer inquired if he would be willing to submit to a field sobriety test and man consented to the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.
As the officer administered the test, the suspect stated that it did not matter what the results of the test showed, they were not admissible in court. And he was correct.
After the suspect failed the first test, the officers asked the man if he would take a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) and the suspect indicated he would. As the man was taking the PBT, he told the investigating officers that it did not matter what the result of the PBT test were that it was inadmissible in court. And he was correct.
The man was taken into custody for operating under the influence of alcohol and transported to the Leicester Police Department for booking.
As part of the booking process, the suspect was offered a breathalyzer test, which he consented to take. As the man took the breathalyzer, he said to the officer that the results of this test didn’t matter since they were not admissible in court. WRONG ON THAT ONE.
The breathalyzer results are admissible in court, which is exactly where the suspect’s case is currently pending – the East Brookfield District Court.
Wrong Name, Right Warrant and Cocaine – A local resident was operating her motor vehicle on Main Street at approximately 1:20 a.m. with an LPD officer traveling behind her recently. Now, having an officer behind you at this late hour might be considered by some to be good luck, but in the case of this local woman it was actually bad luck. As the officer traveled down Main Street, he entered the registration of the vehicle he was behind into the cruiser’s mobile data terminal. The MDT alerted the officer that the registered owner of the motor vehicle had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. The LPD officer stopped the motor vehicle and asked the operator for her license and registration. The operator provided her license, which listed a different last name than the name on the arrest warrant. The officer quickly determined that the name on the license was the woman’s maiden name. Sneaky, but not sneaky enough. The LPD officer quickly took the woman into custody on the outstanding warrant. Her motor vehicle was inventoried prior to being towed and inside the driver’s door storage pocket the officer located a plastic bag containing cocaine. The woman was additionally charged with possession of a Class B controlled substance.
The Price You Pay Is Subject To Change Based Upon Who You Know – A non-resident of Leicester was charged with larceny after a local retailer requested the LPD assistance with an investigation. The LPD investigator, working with the loss prevention personnel at the retailer, were able to determine that the suspect made multiple purchases of items from the same cashier. The investigation revealed that, during one recent visit to the store, the suspect purchased a Panasonic Home Theater System for $3.31 – what a discount! Several days later, the suspect returned a GPS system for $.98 – now that’s a deal – and, several days later, passed through the register with a full cart of groceries, making a payment of $88. On several other occasions the suspect was observed passing through a register, manned by the same cashier, with several hundred dollars of merchandise for which he paid only several dollars. Both the cashier and the man making the discounted purchases have been summonsed into court to face larceny charges.
Bad Plan + Poor Execution + Greed = Time In Jail – A shoplifter thought she had it all figured out by just casually walking into the store with some of the store’s shopping bags that she had saved from a previous trip to the store. She quietly loaded them up with enough clothing for a fairly good-size fashion show and some treats for her dog. Everything was going as planned until she headed out the door and was apprehended. STRIKE 1 for stealing and STRIKE 2 for poor execution – this shoplifter got greedy and took way too much, making her actions ”OBVIOUS”!!
The woman was detained and searched. Now, shoplifting can be a very special profession, so when police found the tablets of Oxycodone on her, they gave her the benefit of the doubt and asked, “Do you have a prescription?”
The woman answered “No,” which the officers expected, as they had also found the razor blade and straw the woman was using to crush up the pills and snort them. STRIKE 3. She was arrested and charged with shoplifting, larceny and possession of a Class B substance.
What Is Up With This Guy – An 18-year-old man was recently stopped leaving a local retailer after he had been observed concealing items on his person to avoid paying for them. The man was searched and found to have concealed a package of Trojan condoms, eyelash curler, Visine, and nine sharpie markers. No idea what this guy had planned. He will be summonsed into court for shoplifting.
Scams Operating In The Area
It’s IRS Time Again – The approaching April 15 tax deadline also brings with it a wide variety of scams that link themselves to the IRS in the hopes of gaining your confidence and your personal information. Residents should be aware that the IRS is warning taxpayers that a number of scams are operating using the IRS logo. To read the official IRS warning pertaining to the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams” use this web link.
The ACH Payment Request Scam – In this scam the potential victim is contacted via email and told that their payment has been rejected and that they need to forward their correct ACH number to the emailer so that they can process the potential victim’s payment. The email even provides a link for you to send your payment through, which of course is a phony page designed to capture your financial information. Providing your ACH number allows the scammer to access your bank account electronically and remotely and thus get emptied quickly. Do not respond to these emails and do not send any information.You should not even try to access the link as many contain viruses that can harm your computer or provide the scammer with other forms of access to your computer’s data.
Florida Department of Motor Vehicles Scam – The target of this scam is contacted by email and told that their purchase from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has been processed and that they need to access an attached link for payment. The link leads to a non-Florida Department of Motor Vehicles website that collects the targeted victim’s personal information which is used to drain their bank accounts and make purchases on line. Do not attempt to access the link or send any information to these scammers.
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, where 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.
Sharps Kiosk – Open For Business
The sharps disposal kiosk has been installed in the LPD lobby and is open for business. Residents can now dispose of the sharps or sharps used for animal care in the kiosk at any time. Replacement sharp containers are also available, should they be needed. If you can’t make it to the lobby to drop off your sharps, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make alternate arrangements.
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 e/s
Leicester Police Department