Police Log - Missing Rims
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
A driver who allegedly told an officer “[Expletive] off. I hope you cops die” was recently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.
Officer Adam Arico and Geoffrey Waldman were working an assigned driving under the influence enforcement detail on September 2 just after midnight. Officer Arico’s report indicates that dispatch received a call of a possible DUI in progress involving a black BMW. The reporting party stated that the vehicle was traveling east on Toll Gate Road at the intersection of Bald Hill Road.
While en route to the scene, dispatch provided updates of the car in motion, and that the suspect vehicle was swerving in and out of lanes. Officers eventually located the car traveling eastbound on East Avenue, and observed the car drifting between lanes of travel. A motor vehicle stop was then initiated on East Avenue near the Route 95 overpass.
Officers then made contact with the driver, later identified as Mark Grenga, 51, of 10 Lennon Road in Lincoln. Officer initially found Grenga apparently “frantically shoving a hamburger into his mouth.” He was asked for his license, registration and insurance, which he provided. After Grenga was done chewing his food, he advised that registration information for the dealer plate was affixed to the back of the license plate.
As Grenga spoke, officers detected the smell of alcohol emanating from him and observed signs of intoxication. Grenga then agreed to consent to a series of standardized field sobriety tests. Based upon the officers’ observations, their contact with Grenga and his performance during testing, it was determined that he was unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely and was placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence. He was taken into custody and placed in a police cruiser.
As officers discussed the circumstances of the arrest with Sargent Michailides, Grenga motioned for Officer Arico to come and speak with him. Grenga then purportedly said he was the general manager of BMW of Newport and that he had personally donated thousands of dollars to various police departments. It appeared to the officer that Grenga was attempting to benefit from this disclosure. Officer Arico stated that the departments appreciated his philanthropy, but the donations would have little impact on his situation. When asked if he had anything further to speak about, Grenga is quoted as saying “(Expletive) off. I hope you cops die.”
Grenga’s car was towed from the scene and he was transported to police headquarters. There he was belligerent and swore at officers. While being advised of his rights, Grenga appeared to be indifferent, picking his teeth and appeared to have little regard to what officers were telling him. He later refused to take a chemical breathalyzer test.
Grenga was charged with driving under the influence, first offense, refusal to submit to a chemical test, and laned roadway violations. Once processed, officers gave Grenga the option to make a phone call for someone to pick him up. He then declined the call and advised that he wished to remain in custody. He was informed that was not an option and it was determined that he would be transported to Kent Hospital for detox.
SHOPLIFTING AND MORE
On August 29 at approximately 8:15 p.m. Officer Thomas Duncan along with other members of the department were dispatched to the Bald Hill Road Macy’s for a report of a shoplifting in progress.
According to the report, Officer Paul Wells was already on scene speaking with Warwick Mall security who were providing updates on where the suspect was. The alleged shoplifter was described as a white male wearing a black shirt, gray pants and had a black backpack which he had filled with items taken from the store.
After almost an hour inside Macy’s, the man walked out of the mall after passing all points of sale without making a purchase. WPD officers confronted the man, later identified as Michael Desouza, 41, of 107 George Street, first floor in Johnston, outside of the store. He’s reported to have told officer that he was sorry that he had to “steal some items this evening.”
A statement provided by store security indicated that Desouza was observed through store security cameras. Security personnel recognized the suspect from being in the store two times during the previous weeks. Both times he was observed taking merchandise, but that the store was unable to apprehend him.
The total value of merchandise taken on August 29 totaled $266.92 in value. Desouza was taken into custody and officers began to pat him down. Desouza then advised that he had a baggie of heroin in his right pocket. Officers then located the bag and it was seized. Desouza was then transported to Warwick Police headquarters. There he was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting and felony possession of a Schedule I-V drug.
Officer Gavin McVeigh was dispatched to Pender Avenue on August 30 at approximately 8:30 p.m. for a complaint of stolen car rims.
At the scene he met with the reporting party who stated that she had five rims on her driveway that had been there for approximately six months as her son was trying to sell them. In the same area of the residence, the woman’s sister had an old car that was recently sold to a couple of males, which she believed they were going to sell as scrap, however she had no contact information for them and was unsure if the theft was related to them.
Two rims were for a PT Cruiser and there were three 15 inch rims, with a total value $275. There were no cameras present in the area, and neighbors didn’t observe anything out of the ordinary. There are currently no suspects or witnesses.
LABOR DAY DUI STATS
Warwick Police captain Joseph Hopkins reported that, from Friday, Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. to Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 3 a.m., Warwick police officers engaged in eight separate DUI-related arrests.
Six of these arrests were due to the driver refusing a breathalyzer test. Two involved minor accidents that did not result in an injury.
Seven of the eight arrests were made by officers during enhanced DUI prevention efforts paid for by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Highway Safety grant money.
No fatalities were investigated by the Rhode Island State Police over the long weekend, traditionally one of the most deadly for drunk driving incidents during the year. State Police have arrested a total of 33 people driving under the influence during their three-week Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, 10 of those happening over Labor Day Weekend.