DUI At approximately 12:40 a.m. on May 1, Officer Andrew Distelhurst responded to a Boylston Street home for a report of a hit-and-run accident. Other officers located and stopped the suspect vehicle, described as a 2013 Kia Optima, on Rocky Point
At approximately 12:40 a.m. on May 1, Officer Andrew Distelhurst responded to a Boylston Street home for a report of a hit-and-run accident.
Other officers located and stopped the suspect vehicle, described as a 2013 Kia Optima, on Rocky Point Avenue. Distelhurst proceeded to Boylston Street to observe the damage to the vehicle at that location.
On Boylston Street, the reporting party told Distelhurst she had watched the suspect vehicle turn a corner onto the street and “slam into the back of her father’s truck.” The suspect vehicle then drove back down to the end of the street, where it remained for roughly 10 minutes.
Distelhurst then responded to Rocky Point Avenue, where he made contact with the male operator of the Kia. The officer reports the man’s “eyes were bloodshot and glossed over,” and that he slurred his speech and had a “moderate odor” of alcohol on his breath.
The operator is said to have acknowledged consuming alcohol that night and agreed to undergo field sobriety testing, which he reportedly failed.
Jeremy Wetzel, 34, Atlanta, Georgia, was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and transported to Warwick Police headquarters for processing. While at headquarters, he is said to have refused a chemical breath test.
Wetzel was charged with driving under the influence and cited for refusal to submit to a chemical test and driving with an expired license. He was held pending an appearance in Third Division District Court.
Just before 5 p.m. on March 11, Officer Timothy Lipka was on a traffic post on West Avenue when he observed a Chevy Malibu sedan traveling west at a high rate of speed. He clocked the vehicle at 55 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Lipka followed the vehicle as it traveled toward, and then moved onto, Interstate 95 north. The officer reports the vehicle’s male operator was not wearing a seatbelt, and the Malibu was also was closely tailing the vehicle in front of it.
Lipka then initiated a stop and approached the vehicle. At that point, the operator “floored it in the breakdown lane,” reaching speeds of more than 90 mph as he swerved between lanes.
“The vehicle was absolutely operating recklessly and aggressively to the point where it could have caused several major collisions which would have injured or killed motorists,” the officer reports.
Lipka asked dispatch to contact Rhode Island State Police and conducted a check of I-95 to the city line to ensure the vehicle had not crashed or caused and accidents. He was unable to locate the suspect vehicle.
At that point, Lipka exited I-95 onto Elmwood Avenue to head back into Warwick. He then observed the suspect vehicle exit Dixon Street in Providence and head toward Roger Williams Park Zoo on Elmwood Avenue.
“The operator made eye contact with me,” Lipka reports, before he “sped off again recklessly deeper into Providence.”
Lipka asked dispatch to advised Providence Police. He then traced the vehicle’s registration to a Johnston rental company, which he contacted. The company was able to provide the identity of the person who had rented the vehicle in question earlier that day. Through a review of DMV records, he was able to positively identify the person who had rented the vehicle as the operator who had fled from his stop.
A warrant was then issued for the operator on charges of obstructing an officer in the execution of duty and reckless driving. Additionally, citations were issued for no seat belt as an operator, speeding, intervals between vehicles, laned roadway violations, turn signal required, and a host of other violations.
Just before 3:30 p.m. on May 7, Officer Maxwell Neiley responded to Warwick Police headquarters to take custody of Jayrelle Palmer, 26, 125 Camden Ave., Providence, on the warrant. Palmer was transferred from the custody of Rhode Island State Police and held pending arraignment.
Shortly before 4:30 p.m. on April 14, Officer Kyle Fitzsimmons responded to a Greenwood Avenue home to meet with a man regarding a report of fraudulent activity on his bank account.
The reporting party told Fitzsimmons he had mailed a $70 check to National Grid on April 1 or April 2 from the Apponaug post office. Then, on April 14, he discovered the check had been altered to an amount of $5,500 with a different “pay to the order of” line.
The matter was documented and forwarded to detectives.
At approximately 7 p.m. on May 9, Officer Derek Hagopian was on a fixed traffic post in the parking lot of 1090 Post Road when he observed a silver Mercury sedan.
As the vehicle “passed in front of my position,” Hagopian reports, “I observed the operator to look away from my direction and appeared to slouch back in his seat. Based on my training and experience, I know that this body language could be an indication that the operator did not wish to be seen by law enforcement. This behavior was perceived to be suspicious, and also an indication that the operator may be involved in criminal activity.”
Additionally, Hagopian reports, “the shoulder strap of the operator’s seat belt was buckled behind the operator’s back and not in compliance with the RI general law.”
At that point, Hagopian reports a check of the vehicle’s registration found it was active but associated with a black Ford. The officer then pursued the vehicle, which he observed in the parking lot outside the California Taco Shop.
After taking a U-turn and returning to the parking lot, the vehicle was no longer there. Other officers were notified, and another officer located and stopped the vehicle in the area of Post Road and Lakewood Avenue.
Hagopian responded to that location and officers made contact with the operator of the Mercury, who was reportedly unable to provide a driver’s license. A records check then found the man had a suspended license and an active arrest warrant issued from Central Falls Police.
At that point, Wisdom J. Smith, 25, 205 Bucklin St., Providence, was taken into custody and transported to Warwick Police headquarters for processing. While at headquarters, it was determined Smith had at least two prior convictions for driving with a suspended license.
Smith was issued a summons to appear in Third Division District Court on a charge of driving with a suspended license, third or subsequent offense, and cited for operating without proof of registration. He was then transferred into the custody of Central Falls Police.