Officer Aaron Kay was dispatched to a minor motor vehicle accident in the roadway on Bald Hill Road, in the area of the Subway sandwich shop, at approximately 6:23 p.m. on March 27, which involved a 2013 Toyota Corolla and another vehicle.
Upon arriving, Kay said he observed traffic to be backed up and both vehicles were in the right hand northbound lane of travel. He said a Ford Fusion was positioned behind the Corolla as he approached the vehicles and spoke with the drivers of each. He said it appeared to be a minor rear end collision and he asked the drivers if they were OK. Both said they were and didn’t need medical attention. Kay said he then had the vehicles move off the roadway to alleviate the backed-up traffic, and they moved to the Rhode Island Mall parking lot by the Wendy’s and Chuck E. Cheese. He said he continued the investigation there and observed the Corolla had minor rear end damage where the front plate of the Ford Fusion had made an indentation impression on the rear bumper of the Corolla, and observed no visible damage on the front end of the Fusion. Kay said the Corolla driver completed an accident statement and said he was driving north on Bald Hill Rd., and was stopped behind a car waiting for the light to change when the car behind him struck him in the rear bumper.
Kay said he then approached the driver of the Fusion, who had all his windows up. Kay tapped on the front window on the driver side and asked the man to put the window down. Kay said the man looked at him confused and then put the rear driver side window down. Kay asked him again to put the front driver side window down, which he did. After providing his information, Kay said he asked the man what happened, and he said he hit a car and that it was no big deal, and that he was just trying to get home. When asked to elaborate, Kay said the man kept his statement very vague.
While speaking with the man, Kay said he detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, as well as an odor of freshly sprayed cologne inside the vehicle, and observed the man chewing gum and slurring his speech. Kay said he also observed the man had watery, bloodshot eyes and that his story did not make much sense. The man said he was driving home to Cumberland from a training at Lowe’s. He first said he was taking 95 south, but when asked again, said, “Oh no, I am taking 95 north.” Kay said his answers were not consistent with where he was positioned in the roadway, which was in the straight lane northbound on Bald Hill Rd., and not in the right turn lane to head to the Rt. 95 on-ramps. After completing a statement, he was asked to exit the vehicle and perform a field sobriety test, in which he was observed swaying from side to side, was unsteady on his feet, and losing his balance. Kay said in the middle of the test, the man refused to continue, saying he only had one drink and he felt fine. Kay said he arrested Barry Penta, 36, of 500 Mendon Rd., Apt. 409, Cumberland and transported him to police headquarters, where he was placed in a cell and later processed. His vehicle was towed from the scene. Kay said Penta refused a breathalyzer test and was confrontational before eventually cooperating and signing the Third District Court summons. Penta was charged with one count of misdemeanor DUI first offense and was released to his wife.
Officer Jamey Petit was on patrol in the area of Post Road at Guilford at approximately 3:40 a.m. on March 28 when he observed a vehicle stopped in the slow speed southbound lane of Post Road. He said it appeared to be a disabled motor vehicle, so he pulled behind it and activated his rear emergency lighting. He said the vehicle then began to travel forward, so he sounded his air horn to signal a stop, which the vehicle did after about a dozen feet. He exited his vehicle and said he observed two flat passenger side tires and bent rims, a broken passenger side headlight, a cracked front bumper, and a smashed front windshield. Petit said he met with the driver and asked her why the tires were flat, to which she said, “There’s nothing wrong.” Petit said he advised the woman she had two flat tires, a smashed windshield, and a smashed front bumper but she denied having any damage. Petit said while he was speaking to her, he observed the vehicle was in drive, and that her eyes were extremely red, bloodshot, and watery, her speech was slurred, and he detected a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. The woman said she was coming from Providence and was going to her boyfriend’s house. When asked if she had anything to drink, she said “yeah” but she couldn’t recall where or if she had struck an object in the roadway or another vehicle. She said she may have struck a curb somewhere along Rt. 37. A check was performed of the area for any other vehicle that may have been involved or any damage to highway fixtures but none were detected. The woman was asked to exit her vehicle and submit to a field sobriety test, which she complied with. Petit said she was unsteady on her feet and had trouble maintaining her balance and refused to continue the test, saying, “I cannot do this.” Petit said he stopped the test for her safety, and based on his observations that she was unfit to operate a motor vehicle, Tara Rouleau, 30, of 60 Hawthorne Pl., Apt. 8, North Providence was arrested for suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs and transported to police headquarters. Her vehicle was towed from the scene. Upon arrival at the station, Rouleau was processed and placed a cell. She was charged with one count of misdemeanor DUI first offense and one count of refusal to submit to a chemical test first offense and given a Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal court date. While in custody around 5:15 a.m., Petit said he observed Rouleau attempting to hang herself in her cell by her bra strap. He said he immediately responded to the cell area, where he found her bra tied to the cell bars and she was observed to be standing on the bed of the cell. Petit said she was ordered down from the bed and she complied. She appeared to have no injuries. Petit said he removed the bra from the cell bars and Rouleau was transported to Kent Hospital and was left with hospital staff at 5:30 a.m. for a mental health evaluation.