July 2011 Archives

July 26, 2011

Jamaica Plain Man Charged with OUI After Striking Boston Police Officer


Vinodkumar Patel, 58, of Jamaica Plain, was arraigned this week in the Boston Municipal Court on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after he allegedly struck a bicyclist in a crosswalk and then a Boston Police Officer who was working a traffic detail.

Patel was charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol, 3rd Subsequent Offense. He was released on his own personal recognizance following his arraignment.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Vinodkumar Patel was driving on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston last Thursday and stopped at a red light, about 100 feet short. Patel then allegedly drove through the red light and struck a bicyclist who was walker her bike across the street. The bicyclist was reportedly dragged by the car after being struck.

Patel eventually stopped the car, but then allegedly put the vehicle in motion again as a Boston Police Officer working a traffic detail was helping the woman, and then allegedly hit the officer as well. The woman bicyclist was reportedly treated by Boston EMS and the police officer was not injured.

The Boston Police Officer reportedly observed a smell of alcohol on Patel's breath and then asked him to take a series of Field Sobriety Tests, which Patel allegedly failed.

According to prosecutors, Vinodkumar Patel had been previously convicted of two prior OUI / DUI Charges in the Concord and Waltham District Courts.

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July 25, 2011

Man Facing OUI Charges After Crashing into Rehoboth Pizza Place


OUI crash.jpgRichard Blomgren, 30, was arrested for allegedly violating the Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws after he crashed his car into a Rehoboth pizza place last Sunday night. Blomgren was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol; Failure to Stop for Police; Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Malicious Destruction of Property.

According to reports, Rehoboth police attempted to pull over Richard Blomgren as he was allegedly speeding and passing in a 'no passing zone'. Blomgren, however, allegedly accelerated and served into the parking lot of Plaza Pizza Restaurant, and eventually lost control and crashed through the restaurant.

There is no indication at this time what the specific basis the police had for the issuance of the OUI / DUI charges, including whether or not Richard Blomgren submitted to any Field Sobriety Tests or a Breathalyzer Test.

Notwithstanding the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, prosecutors in this case will have a more difficult time sustaining the charge of Malicious Destruction of Property.

In order to convict a person for the charge of Malicious Destruction of Property, the Commonwealth has to prove not only that the defendant injured or destroyed the property of another person, but also that he did so "willfully" and with "malice." In that regard, this crime is a 'specific intent' crime, meaning the government has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant's intent.

As there appears to be no evidence that crashing into the pizza restaurant was anything more than an accident, i.e., the driver lost control of the vehicle, there is then no suggestion that crashing into the restaurant was "willful", i.e., intentionally and by design; nor that the act was done with "malice", i.e., out of cruelty, hostility or revenge to the property owner. In this regard, this charge may be warranted in a straight dismissal...

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July 23, 2011

Chelmsford Man Charged with Vehicular Homicide by DUI After Killing Wife


Harry Conover, 73, was arraigned in Lowell District Court on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after he allegedly drove into and killed his wife outside their Chelmsford home. He was arraigned on DUI charges including Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Second Subsequent Offense, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Vehicular Homicide by Operating Under the Influence.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Harry Conover and his wife, Sandra Conover, 73, reportedly got drove away after getting into an argument with his wife. His wife apparently followed him outside and Conover allegedly struck her as he was driving away. The District Attorney's Office alleges that Conover initially continued driving but then came back after he reportedly saw his wife on the driveway. Prosecutors allege that Sandra Conover suffered a collapsed lung and blunt-force trauma to the chest and shoulder as a result of being run over.

According to the Lowell Police Department, Harry Conover allegedly admitted having had an argument with his wife, after which he had a few drinks of vodka. Lowell police report that Conover allegedly submitted to a Breathalyzer Test which registered a blood alcohol content of 0.09%, just over the legal limit; but then a second test yielded a blood-alcohol content of 0.06%, below the legal limit.

Lowell Police also reported that Harry Conover submitted to Field Sobriety Tests, though it is unclear at this time whether or not the police allege he failed them.

Following his arraignment in Lowell District Court on Massachusetts DUI Charges, Conover was released on his own personal recognizance.

Although a tremendously unfortunate incident for the family involved, Harry Conover will have to not only deal with the death of his wife, but also these pending OUI charges. In that regard, I'm not so surely convinced that there is sufficient evidence in the prosecutor's case to sustain the charge of Motor Vehicle Homicide by OUI.

In order to convict someone for Vehicular Homicide by DUI, one of the elements the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, is that the defendant operated the vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner so that the lives or safety of the public might have been endangered. In that regard, I would suggest that simply where death resulted is not enough to meet that standard - there must be some other specific indicia of recklessness or negligence that the resulting death was foreseeable under the circumstances of operation.

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July 22, 2011

Nantucket Police Sergeant Charged with Drunk Driving


A Nantucket Police Sergeant has reportedly been charged by his own police department as having violated the Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws. He has been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, and is also under investigation by the District Attorney's Office for other charges as well.

According to the Nantucket Police Department, the sergeant was off-duty when he was allegedly tailgating another vehicle that had two female occupants. The sergeant reportedly flashed his high-beams to signal the other car to pull over. Once that female driver pulled over, the unidentified sergeant allegedly approached and thought that he had a gun in his hand. The women then called the police and reported the incident, giving a description of the man.

Based on the purported description, Nantucket Police officers went to the unidentified sergeant's home. Although details have not been released, the police supervisor made "observations" which he then communicated to the District Attorney's Office, who in turn issued a summons for arraignment on the charged of Driving Under the Influence.

With regard to any of the other allegations, including whether the unidentified sergeant had removed his firearm when approaching the females, the matter is under investigation, during which time he has been placed on administrative leave.

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July 20, 2011

Quincy Man Arrested for DUI After Car Catches on Fire


Paul Zangla, 45, of Quincy, was arrested on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after being rescued from his burning car following a crash. He was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Quincy Police Department, officers responded to the scene of an accident and observed a man tending to a man, later identified as Paul Zangla, near the scene of a burning car. Officers reported that Zangla was unconscious and was falling in and out of sleep. Zangla reportedly had no perception of his surroundings and was inquiring what had happened to his car.

The witness who was on scene told officers that he was home sleeping when he heard a loud bang. Going out to investigate, he reportedly saw that a car had crashed into a dump truck and had caught on fire. The man then said he pulled Zangla out of the burning car and tended to him until police arrived.

Quincy Police charged Paul Zangla with OUI Drugs alleging that his speech was slurred and that Zangla allegedly admitted to injecting heroin the night before.

First off, there is a serious question whether any statements Zangla made at the scene of the accident, where he clearly suffered injuries and was falling in and out of consciousness were "knowingly and voluntarily" made. Secondly, where the accident reportedly occurred at 5:48 a.m., the cause attributable may be as much on sleep deprivation than anything else.

...and lastly, where there are no witnesses to corroborate any other indicia of impaired operation as a result of ingestion of drugs, I would venture to guess that the government's prosecution against Paul Zangla has some deficiencies.

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July 19, 2011

Boating Incident Leads to DUI Charge; Friend Still Missing


Justin McDonald, 22, was arrested on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges following an incident in Marshfield Harbor Saturday night the ended up with his friend missing in the water. McDonald has been charged with Operation of a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol.

According to police, Justin McDonald was driving the boat when it suddenly slammed into a rock early Saturday night. The jolt threw both McDonald and his friend, Zac Woods, overboard. McDonald allegedly told police that he saw Woods in the water before going under; but then didn't see him when he came back up.

Prosecutors also allege that McDonald admitted to being 'a little buzzed' and that he had consumed 10 beers before the crash.

The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly conducted a search with divers and helicopters for Zac Woods but eventually called off the search late Sunday night.

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July 15, 2011

8th Massachusetts DUI Charge for Winthrop Man


Joseph F. Limone, 60, was arrested for the eighth time in Revere this past today on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law Violations. He was arraigned in Chelsea District Court on DUI / OUI charges including Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol, 5th or Subsequent Offense and Malicious Destruction of Property.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Joseph F. Limone was allegedly driving in Revere following too close to another vehicle and swerving. After being pulled over, the trooper reportedly gave him a series of Field Sobriety Tests, which he allegedly failed (police will rarely, if ever, acknowledge that anyone ever passed these overly subjective and ridiculous tests).

After being placed under arrest for Driving Under the Influence and being placed into the trooper's vehicle, Limone allegedly kicked out the rear window of the cruise, leading to the additional criminal charge of Malicious Destruction of Property.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Limone's prior OUI convictions including 2 in 1983; 1984; 1987; 1996; 2001; and 2007.

Following his arraignment in Chelsea District Court on this latest Drunk Driving Charge, Joseph F. Limone was held without bail following a Dangerousness Hearing.

A 5th or Subsequent DUI / OUI Charge in Massachusetts carries a potential sentence of imprisonment of not less than 2.5 years and up to 5 years in state prison. Additional, the person faces a lifetime revocation of his driver's license; no hardship alternative for driver's license restoration; and the district attorney's office may even seek to have the person's car forfeited upon a conviction.

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July 14, 2011

Massachusetts Man Dies in DUI Related Crash


Michael R. Davis, 48, was arrested on Massachusetts DUI Charges in connection with the death of Kristian Joel Rose, Jr., who lost control of his car Tuesday evening and was ejected from the vehicle.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Michael R. Davis was allegedly driving aggressively and following Kristian Joel Rose, Jr. moment before Rose crashed. Rose reportedly lost control of his car in the area of Exit 8 in Raynham on Route 495. The vehicle is believed to have rolled over several times, ejecting and killing Rose.

Massachusetts State Police arrested Michael R. Davis in Halifax and have charged him with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle. State Police Reconstruction Division is still investigating the accident, and it appears that more charges may follow, including Motor Vehicle Homicide by Driving Under the Influence.

Although a very unfortunate incident, the reports concerning this case appear to be lacking of any evidence that Michael Davis was intoxicated or other impaired by alcohol. It may be that witness accounts provide the bare probable cause for the issuance of the charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, particularly if witnesses allege evidence of aggressive driving involving speeding and lane changing, but the evidence for the charge of DUI / OUI appears to be lacking.

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July 13, 2011

Massachusetts Police Officer Arrested for DUI


Edmund Scipione, 41, a Barnstable police detective, was arrested on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges in Swansea after he allegedly drove around with a 9 year old boy while drunk. The Barnstable detective has been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Endangerment of a Child While DUI.

According to the Swansea Police Department, Edmund Scipione was reportedly headed to a Barnstable Little League baseball game with a 9 year old boy who wasn't his child. At some point, the car pulled over in Dighton and the boy got out of the car, reportedly complaining that Scipione was "drinking" and "on the other side of the road."

Swansea Police Officers stopped Scipione's car and allegedly found a 'nips' or miniature bottles of alcohol in the car. Following his arrest, he was suspended as an assistant coach of the Barnstable Little League All-Star Team. It's not clear whether he will also be suspended from his duties at the Barnstable Police Department as a result of the OUI / DUI Charges.

Aside from the alcohol in the car and the boys' statements, however, there does not appear to be any other evidence of impaired operation, or whether Scipione submitted to any Field Sobriety Tests or an Alcohol or Breathalyzer Test.

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July 12, 2011

Former Northborough Selectman Arrested for DUI in Southborough


Kevin Giblin, a former Northborough Selectman, was arrested in Southborough on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges last week. He was arraigned in Westborough District Court on charges of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Kevin Giblin allegedly sped passed a state trooper's car on route 495. The trooper followed Giblin's Bentley, which allegedly "veered" into the other lane. The trooper also alleges that Gilbin's car also almost struck a tractor trailer that was also exiting.

After pulling Giblin over for suspicion of OUI / DUI, the trooper allegedly asked him to submit to Field Sobriety Tests, which he reportedly refused to perform, as is his right. Otherwise, the only evidence of alleged intoxication the trooper relied upon was Giblin's glassy eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol.

Without more, quite frankly, the prosecution will have a very difficult time in proving that Giblin was so impaired by alcohol that he was unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. In fact, glassy eyes and slurred speech can easily be attributed to the late hour or fatigue; and that Giblin was speeding yet able to navigate his vehicle is indicative of, in fact, having complete control over the car.

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July 11, 2011

Plymouth Man Charged in Fatal Quincy DUI Crash


Anthony Deicicchi, of Plymouth, was arrested yesterday morning on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law Violations following a fatal accident that killed a 50 year old man from Jamaica Plain.

Deicicchi was charged with DUI Charges including Motor Vehicle Homicide While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol; Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol; and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Anthony Deicicchi was traveling on Quincy Shore Drive early Sunday morning heading southbound when he veered into the northbound lane and struck a Ford Explorer. The driver of the Ford Explorer, a man from Jamaica Plain, was pronounced after being taken to Boston Medical Center. A passenger of that Ford Explorer also suffered serious injuries. A passenger in Deicicchi's car also suffered serious injuries.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, they allege that Anthony Deicicchi was driving under the influence, but no specific details have been released as to what they relied on in making that determination. Its unclear, for example, whether any Field Sobriety Tests were given or if a Breathalyzer Test was submitted to.

Anthony Deicicchi was to be arraigned this morning in Quincy District Court.

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July 8, 2011

West Roxbury Man Arrested on DUI Charges in Cape Cod


A West Roxbury man was arrested this past week on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after allegedly crashing his motorcycle that injures his passenger. He was arrested by Barnstable Police and charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Barnstable Police, the person was allegedly driving his motorcycle carrying one passenger when it crashed in a rotary. The passenger was thrown off the bike and reportedly suffered serious injuries. When police arrive, the man was allegedly on the side of the road, and officers reported he had difficulty standing and smelled of alcohol.

The person refused a Breathalyzer Test and it appears that he did not submit to any Field Sobriety Tests.

Notably, however, the Barnstable Police also reported that the scene of the crash and the roadway was littered with debris, which I would venture to say played a significant if not primary role in the cause of the accident - as opposed to any alleged intoxication. This is an important detail in this case as Massachusetts DUI Laws do not make it a crime to just 'drink and drive' - but rather, the alcohol the person allegedly ingested must have impaired him to a degree so as to diminish his/her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Unfortunately, the passenger suffered what are reported to be life threatening injuries, which could mean that charges against the West Roxbury man could be upgraded to Motor Vehicle Homicide by Operating Under the Influence.

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July 7, 2011

Roslindale Man Indicted for Vehicular Homicide by OUI in Scooter Death


Colin Ratiu, 23, of Boston's Roslindale section, was indicted by a Suffolk Grand Jury on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Crimes in connection with the death of a 23 year old man who was riding his scooter.

The Suffolk County indictment charges Colin Ratiu with Motor Vehicle Homicide While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Death.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and the Boston Police Department, Colin Ratiu was allegedly driving drunk when he struck Andrew Prior, who was riding his scooter, on November 14. Ratiu allegedly failed to stop and continued driving. Andrew prior was taken to a Boston hospital where he was pronounced.

Colin Ratiu was initially arraigned in West Roxbury District Court on the OUI / DUI Charges on February 14 and released on $7,500 bail. The following day, however, Boston Police executed a search warrant at his home and allegedly discovered a climate-controlled room where four marijuana plants were growing. He was then arrested on Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges.

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July 6, 2011

Cape Cod Woman Charged with Vehicular Homicide by DUI in Teen's Death


Monica Mitchell, 42, of Mashpee, was arrested last Friday and charged with several Massachusetts Drunk Driving Crimes in connection with the death of a 16 year old Falmouth teenager, Jack Pearsall.

Mitchell was arraigned in Falmouth District Court on DUI charges including Motor Vehicle Homicide While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol; Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death.

According to the Falmouth Police Department, Monica Mitchell struck Jack Pearsall as he was walking with friends after leaving the annual fireworks display at Mashpee High School. Pearsall's friends told police that Mitchell allegedly swerved and struck Pearsall near the intersection of Old Barnstable Road and Leather Leaf Lane. She allegedly did not stop and continued driving until stopped by police, who found her sitting in traffic.

The Falmouth Police also reported that Monica Mitchell failed three Field Sobriety Tests and refused to submit to a Breathalyzer Test.

Jack Pearsall was med-flighted to Massachusetts General Hospital, but succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning.

The Massachusetts DUI Crime of Motor Vehicle Homicide While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs the reckless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol that resulted in the death of another person. The potential penalty upon conviction for the crime of Vehicular Homicide is a sentence of 1 to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections; or 2.5 to 15 years in state prison.

Following her arraignment in Falmouth District Court on DUI / OUI Charges, Monica Mitchell, a former police dispatcher, was released on her own personal recognizance.

The United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights guarantees that all persons charged with any crime are presumed innocent.

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July 5, 2011

Brookline Man Arrested for Drunk Driving After Striking 8 Year Old


Joseph Palermo, 42, of Brookline, was arrested this past weekend on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Crimes after allegedly hitting an 8 year old boy. Palermo was arraigned in Brookline District Court on the DUI charge of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs.

According to the Brookline Police, Joseph Palermo struck the 8 year old boy who had suddenly ran in front of his car. Palermo maintains that he was driving slow at the time and there is no indication from the Brookline Police that he was not driving slowly and appropriately.

After allegedly striking the boy, Palermo immediately got out of his car and checked on the well-being of the child to determine if he needed any aid. The child was alert and only complained of stomach pains.

After Brookline Police arrived, they allegedly smelled an odor of marijuana on Palermo's breath, and then searched his car. The search allegedly revealed the presence of a small smoking pipe as well as a small amount of marijuana.

Although unfortunate circumstances that a child was struck by a car, there is no indication to me that the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office has any basis for the DUI / OUI charge. Quite simply, the only reason Joseph Palermo was arrested and charged with DUI is because the Brookline Police had to charge him with something after a child was hit.

Specifically, there doesn't appear to be any evidence that Joseph Palermo's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was impaired by the marijuana; there is no evidence of negligent driving or other indicia of his inability to properly and safely control the vehicle. Nor have I been informed of any other factors that might contribute to any alleged intoxication, whether from Field Sobriety Tests or a Breathalyzer Test.

At the end of the day, this was nothing more than an accident where a child ran out in front of a car....it was an accident, nothing more, nothing less...

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July 1, 2011

Somerville Man Indicted for DUI & Motor Vehicle Homicide in Death of 2 Teen Girls


A Middlesex County Grand Jury has indicted Kenneth Belew, 21, of Somerville, on several Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges in connection with the death of two teenage girls, Mayara Alves, 16, of Everett, and Isabela DaSilva, 16, of Somerville.

Kenneth Belew is expected to be arraigned next week on DUI / OUI Charges including Motor Vehicle Homicide by OUI; Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol; and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, on April 21, Kenneth Belew was with friends at a bar and then went to a friend's home. At 3:15 that morning, he left the home with 5 people, including the two teenage girls, Mayara Alves and Isabela DaSilva, who were both seated in the back seat on other passengers' laps.

Police allege that Kenneth Belew was traveling on McGrath Highwath at a high rate of speed when he drove through a red light, eventually losing control of the vehicle. The two girls who were sitting on other passenger's in the laps, and were therefore reportedly not wearing their seat belts, were partially ejected from the car when it crashed.

According to Somerville Police who responded to the scene of the crash, Kenneth Belew exhibited signs of intoxication, as he allegedly had bloodshot and glassy eyes, and had slurred speech.

Belew also reportedly submitted to a Alcohol Breathalyzer Test, which was reported as 0.17%.

As in every criminal case, the law presumes that Kenneth Belew is innocent of these Massachusetts DUI / OUI Charges.

Boston DUI Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges, including Vehicular Homicide, Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, and Reckless Driving.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston OUI Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.