DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
On Feb. 22 at approximately 5:55 p.m. Officers Matthew Stone Higgins and Tyler Stone were dispatched the area of Post Road and Myrtle Avenue for a report of a motor vehicle accident.
Upon arrival the officers found that Warwick Fire personnel were already on scene and had checked out both of the drivers involved in the accident as well as all occupants. No significant injuries were found and no one was transported to the hospital.
According to the report, the officers spoke with the drivers to determine the circumstances of the accident. Upon speaking with Joseph Ball, 59, of 19 Dory Road in Warwick, the officers stated that they detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath and that he exhibited signs of intoxication. He told officers that he had just left his house with his grandchildren and was driving to Pawtucket. He said he was traveling north on Post Road and did not see that there was a car in front of him. The next thing he knew, he stated, was that he had been in an accident. The report notes that the two children in his car in the back seat were six years old.
Ball allegedly told the officers that he had a couple of drinks a few hours earlier, then stated that he had “two or three beers” about two hours before the accident. He then agreed to partake in a series of standardized sobriety tests. A preliminary breath test was also performed, which provided a blood alcohol content reading of .115 percent. Based upon Ball’s performance during testing and the officers’ experience and training, it was determined that he was unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely. He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and taken to police headquarters.
At the station, Ball consented to another chemical breathalyzer test, which produced blood alcohol readings of .124 and .129 percent. He was charged with driving under the influence, first offense. He was later released to the custody of a sober adult.
FRAUD BY FALSE PRETENSES
Officer Quentin Tavares was dispatched to the Universal Boulevard Best Buy on Feb. 22 at approximately 5:35 p.m. for a report of embezzlement. Prior to arrival, dispatch had explained to the officer that Loss Prevention at the store was currently speaking with an employee who had allegedly admitted to stealing.
At the store the officer met with an Asset Protection Manager, who explained that she responded to the Best Buy to review a complaint against one of the store’s employees identified as Christopher Costa, 26, of 35 Hill Top Avenue in West Warwick, for prior embezzlements and a possible current theft. She explained that she had observed video surveillance in which Costa created a transaction on one of the computers for an Xbox for a pick up. He then obtained an Xbox, valued at $249.99, and walked out of the store to his vehicle. He is reported to have said that he was going to give the device to a friend. He’s also alleged to have admitted doing the same with several other items by obtaining the merchandise then returning it later for money.
According to the police report, Costa confirmed that he had taken the Xbox. He was taken into custody and brought to police headquarters, where he was charged with one count of obtaining money by false pretenses.
While on patrol on Feb. 22 at approximately 5:40 p.m., Officer Walter Larson was dispatched to the Warwick Mall Target in reference to a larceny. While en route, he was advised that two suspects had stolen a purse from a victim’s basket as she was at the self-checkout then left the store.
At the scene the officer met with the victim, who advised that she was at the self-checkout with her daughter who was in the cart. When she went to pay for her merchandise, she noticed that her small red wristlet style purse was missing. Contained inside was $40 and her daughter’s social security card and birth certificate.
Pictures of the suspects were obtained from the store’s camera surveillance, described as two black females who were later seen entering into a blue sedan. The victim indicated that she wished to pursue criminal charges, and the report was forwarded to detectives for review.
While posted on Warwick Avenue on Feb. 17 at approximately 6:25 p.m., Officer Derek Mourato observed a car pass his location at a high rate of speed. He estimated the car to be traveling at approximately 65-70 miles per hour and observed that the vehicle also had after market tinted windows. He then pursued the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop in the area of 654 Sandy Lane.
He then met with the driver, later identified as Daniel Johnston, 20, of 99 Abbott Avenue in Warwick. Johnston stated that he was speeding due to the fact that he was having a road rage incident with the vehicle behind him. He said there was a truck that had been following him from Airport road, and he allegedly stated that, “I definitely was moving” and may have been traveling at about 60 to 70 miles per hour.
While speaking with Johnston, the officer detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. When asked if he had any marijuana in the vehicle, Johnston reportedly reached behind himself and opened a backpack and produced a large mason jar filled with what was believed to be marijuana. Johnston stated that he did not have a medical marijuana card.
A vehicle search was then conducted as other officers arrived on scene. A blunt believed to contain marijuana was also found in the center console. Johnston was then taken into custody for possession. He was later charged with possession of marijuana first offense, speeding, and unlawful sunscreen material.
At approximately 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 25, Officer Damian Andrews responded to a Warwick Avenue address for a report of malicious damage to a vehicle.
At the scene the officer met with the resident, who stated that she observed a white male dressed in jeans and a gray sweatshirt, and heard what sounded like air being released from her car tire. When she went outside, she saw the subject run away and lost sight of him.
There are currently no identified suspects, and a report was taken from the victim.