On April 11 at approximately 7:22 p.m., Officers Timothy Kenyon and Ali Jaafar were dispatched to the CVS at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Warwick Avenue. While en route to the scene, the officers were informed by dispatch that a female suspect was causing a disturbance inside the establishment by yelling at both customers and employees and by throwing things around the store.
At the store a manager informed the officers that a white female had just caused a disturbance. The woman left the store with a number of assorted items, allegedly failing to pay for any of them. The officers were also informed that the woman got into a red Honda sedan, and left northbound on Warwick Avenue towards Cranston. The officers checked the surrounding area for the suspect vehicle but were unsuccessful finding it.
Surveillance footage of the incident was obtained from the store. The woman was described as a tall, white female between 5’8” and 5’10’ tall, appearing to be in her mid 20s to mid 30s, and was wearing knee high black boots and large sunglasses which made it difficult to obtain a clear identification. The report was forwarded to detectives for follow up.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND MORE
Officer Ali Jaafar was in a stationary position on Metro Center Boulevard at the FedEx shipping center parking lot on April 13. While there, he reported that he observed a vehicle across the street at the Extended Stay Hotel that aggressively backed out of a parking spot on the west side of the building and then drove out of the lot at a high rate of speed.
The car then made a right turn onto Metro Center Boulevard and while doing so traveled in the breakdown lane and committed laned roadway violations. Officer Jaafar then followed the vehicle and conducted an immediate traffic stop. He then approached the suspect vehicle and made contact with the driver, identified as David Ramos, 22, of 13 Longfellow Terrace in Providence, and his female passenger.
According to the report, the car’s windows were tinted, and a strong odor of what appeared to be marijuana was emanating from the vehicle, which was a rental car. When asked why his rental vehicle had tinted windows, Ramos stated that it was “for privacy.” Ramos’ eyes appeared to be bloodshot, and the officer detected a slight odor of alcoholic beverages emanating from his breath. As a result of the smell of marijuana and signs of impairment, the officer requested additional assistance to the scene.
Ramos was asked to exit his vehicle and a search was conducted. Approximately five grams of suspected marijuana was located scattered in the front of the vehicle in several plastic bags. Officers also located a bag with an unknown white powdery substance weighing approximately ten grams. A scale that also appeared to be covered in a white powdery residue was also discovered. When questioned, Ramos denied any ownership of the items. They were then taken as evidence.
Ramos then consented to a field sobriety test. Based upon his performance and the officers’ experience it was determined that he was unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely and was taken into custody. The officer noted in his report that Ramos possessed a flip phone that was intact and functioning at the beginning of the traffic stop. When Ramos was placed in the rear of a police cruiser it was discovered that the phone had been broken in half. When questioned about the phone, Ramos allegedly stated that he was “not stupid” and that he “needed to cover himself.”
The police report also indicated that Ramos was wearing an excessive amount of jewelry and carried approximately $1,070 on his person. Ramos was transported to police headquarters where he later refused to take a chemical breathalyzer test.
At the time of the report, Ramos was being held as a probation violator and was tentatively charged with driving under the influence, first offence, refusal to submit to a chemical test, and possession of marijuana.
On April 16 at approximately 6:22 p.m., Officer William Holz along with several members of the department were dispatched to Haxton’s Toll Gate Liquors on Bald Hill Road for a report of a shoplifting in progress.
At the scene Officer Holz met with an assistant manager who was on the phone with 911 as he was with the suspect. Later identified as Nicholas Ciolfi, 34, of 17 Maynard Street in North Providence, he was in the exit vestibule of the store being held back by the manager. The manager immediately identified Ciolfi as the suspect who passed all points of sale with a bottle of Ole Smokey Moonshine valued at $21.59.
A written report was obtained from the manager detailing the events of the alleged theft. He also stated that that was the second time Ciolfi had shoplifted from the store, taking the same type of alcohol during the first incident.
Ciolfi was charged with two counts of misdemeanor shoplifting, and later released from police headquarters with a Third District Court summons. POSSESSION
At approximately 9:47 p.m. on April 17, Officer Derek Mourato observed a vehicle traveling under the speed limit at a slow rate of speed on Bald Hill Road. He also observed that the operator was not wearing a seatbelt and was leaning to the side. The officer then proceeded to follow the vehicle, which was swerving in and out of the lane of travel.
A traffic stop was then initiated near Brewed Awakenings, and the officer made contact with the driver, identified as Eduardo Pena Benitez, 28, of 42 Grafton Street in Providence, along with his female passenger, who was identified as Gladys Rodriguez, 28, of 380 Farmington Avenue in Cranston. While standing near the car door, Officer Mourato noted that he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.
Both the Benitez and Rodriguez stated there was no marijuana in the vehicle but that they had smoked earlier in the vehicle.
Benitez reportedly was hostile towards officers and avoided answering questions. He was asked to exit the vehicle and temporarily detained. Rodriguez was asked again if there was anything in the vehicle and stated no as she glanced down at her backpack. She was also asked to step out of the car.
A search of the vehicle was then conducted, and two bags of suspected marijuana were located between the passenger’s seat and the center console. A pill bottle was also found in Rodriguez’s open purse containing several pills of different colors, shapes and sizes. Officer Mourato, as a drug recognition expert, identified the pills as being oxycodones and alprazolams.
Rodriguez was taken into custody and transported to police headquarters, where she was charged with three felony counts of possession of schedule I-V drugs. She was then held for the bail commissioner. Benitez was given a citation for laned roadway violations and not wearing a seat belt and was released at the scene.