On May 20 at approximately 7:16 p.m., Officer Brian Fontaine and other members of the department were dispatched to the area of the Greenwood Bridge for a report of an operator driving under the influence in progress. Dispatch had advised the officers that a green truck with Massachusetts was erratically driving all over the road, and had taken a left onto Main Avenue heading west.
Officer Fontaine reported he was traveling west on Main Avenue when he observed the suspect vehicle traveling towards him with its drivers side wheels headed into oncoming traffic. He then made a U-turn and followed the vehicle. He then observed the truck leave its lane of travel and cross the center double yellow line twice. The suspect vehicle then made a left hand turn onto Carolyn Street where a traffic stop was then initiated.
Contact was made with the driver, who was identified as Stephanie Pizzotti, 28, of 926 Southbridge Street, Apt. 2 in Worcester. Upon speaking with Pizzotti, the officer stated that he detected signs of intoxication as well as the smell of alcohol emanating from her. Pizzotti reportedly indicated that she had consumed alcoholic beverages earlier that day.
Pizzotti then consented to a series of standardized field sobriety tests, however during the testing she allegedly stated that she would not partake in any more of the tests. At that time, based upon the officer’s experience and training, it was determined that Pizzotti was unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely. An attempt was made to arrest Pizzotti and to place her in handcuffs, however she pulled away from the officer and tried to spin away from him. She was then taken to the ground with the assistance of Officer Christopher Gillis. She was then handcuffed and taken into custody and transported to police headquarters.
At the station, Pizzotti refused to take a chemical breathalyzer test. She was then charged with driving under the influence, first offense, refusal to submit to a chemical test, resisting legal/illegal arrest, and laned roadway violations. She was later released with a district court summons. *** On May 25 around 11:37 p.m., Officers Jonathan Reiff and David Boardman were on patron traveling north on Warwick Avenue when they observed a black Ford Mustang in front of them that was swerving over the lane lines. The vehicle then reportedly tried to take a left turn onto Airport Road when a red arrow light was displayed.
A traffic stop was then initiated in the parking lot of Speedway on Airport Road. Contact was made with the operator, later identified as Kevin O’Brien, 43, of 112 Pinewood Drive in West Warwick. Officers detected signs of impairment and the smell of alcohol emanating from O’Brien as he spoke. When asked, O’Brien allegedly told officers that he had one drink at 5 p.m., then stated he had three drinks before midnight. He reportedly told officers that he was texting and driving and that’s why his car had swerved. O’Brien then agreed to take a field sobriety test.
Based upon the officers’ observations and interactions with O’Brien, it was determined that he would be arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. He was then taken into custody and transported to police headquarters. There he refused to take a chemical breathalyzer test.
O’Brien was charged with driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a chemical test, and laned roadway violations. He was later issued a court summons and released to a sober adult.
Officer Sokphannareth Chea was dispatched to the Fairfax Village Apartments on Post Road on May 20 around 8:27 p.m. for a report of a stolen motor vehicle. At the scene he made contact with the reporting party who advised that he had a motorcycle stolen sometime between May 13 and May 20. The bike, described as a 2007 Yamaha R1 with Two Brothers exhaust that was blue with white stripes on the fender. The man stated that the motorcycle had been parked in his parking spot at the apartment complex, and that he wished to press charges should a suspect be found. The report was forwarded to department detectives for follow up.
On May 21 at approximately 11:53 p.m., Officer Damian Andrews responded to 1250 Post Road for a report of a larceny of a bicycle from the business. Upon arrival, the officer met with the reporting party who stated he rode his bike to work at around 4 p.m. When he returned to the bike around 11 p.m., he discovered it was gone. The bike was described as a neon green heavy duty mountain bike with fat tires. The man indicated that he wished to press charges if a suspect was found.
At approximately 7:10 a.m. on May 24, Officer David Thompson was dispatched to the Brewer Yacht Yard on Folly Landing Road for a larceny complaint. At the scene he met with the victim, who stated that on May 16 they secured their property, including a three gallon Yamaha gas tank valued at $200, in a dock box. When they returned on the 21 they found that the gas tank was gone. A statement was taken and the victim stated that they wished to pursue a complaint.
On May 21 at approximately 7:10 p.m. Officer Christian Vargas and Ryan Lancaster were dispatched to the Warwick Mall Target for a report of a shoplifting in progress. Dispatch had advised the officers that the male suspect had left the scene on foot behind the Firestone Tire location.
At the scene the officers met with Warwick Mall security, who stated that the male-described as having a buzz cut and was carrying a red backpack, had jumped the fence and also jumped over the guardrail onto Route 295. A check of the area proved negative.
A Target Loss Prevention supervisor told the officers that he observed the suspect select numerous Prilosec pages from the pharmacy area and place them in a plastic bag. He then exited the store without paying. The suspect was confronted outside the store, but then ran off.
Officers then viewed surveillance footage of the incident, then Officer Vargas patrolled the mall parking lot. There he positively identified the suspect and made contact with him. The man identified himself as John Fitzgerald Cotugno, 53, of 3605 Scituate Vista Drive in Cranston. He provided a story, which was not corroborated by the video evidence. A total of $254,84 worth of merchandise was recovered.
Cotugno was placed under arrest and charged with felony shoplifting and habitual shoplifting. He was also issued a no trespassing order.