Jul 9 2013

Lowell officer arrested and charged with OUI

Dr. Q

A Lowell police officer was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The officer has been placed on paid leave (Source: The Lowell Sun).

Eric Wayne, 39, who is a Lowell resident, was arrested by Lowell police on July 4 near the intersection of Lawrence and Rogers Street.

The details of his arrest are unclear, but this much is known: There was no accident or personal injury. Wayne was alone in the vehicle.

According to court documents, police Lt. Daniel Larocque, the shift supervisor that day, said that at around noon on July 4, he became involved in an “administrative matter” concerning Wayne. Larocque wrote that after speaking to another officer about the situation, he parked his cruiser at the end of Hanks Street by Rogers Street waiting for Wayne’s white 2013 Land Rover to pass by.

While parked at that location, Larocque wrote in his report that he spotted Wayne’s vehicle turn right on Rogers Street from the other side of Hanks Street. Wayne stopped at a red light, and Larocque pulled up behind him, got out and approached Wayne, telling him to pull into the parking lot of a local liquor store.

Due to the “sensitive nature” of the incident, Larocque asked Wayne to stand near his police cruiser so he could speak to him. During the interaction, Larocque wrote that he could smell alcohol on Wayne’s breath, and noticed his eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Wayne appeared unsteady on his feet, Larocque said.

“As I continued to speak with him, his talk became irrational at times,” Larocque wrote, describing Wayne’s behavior.

Wayne would be talking about the “administrative matter” he and Larocque were discussing, Larocque wrote, and then Wayne would say he was leaving the department and he was tired of the department watching him.

Larocque had requested that a department Employee Assistance Program officer respond to the scene to speak to Wayne, according to court documents.

Larocque asked Wayne to perform a field sobriety test. Initially, Wayne refused, then he agreed. He failed the tests, Larocque wrote.

Larocque arrested him.

Back at the station, Wayne refused a Breathalyzer test. Under state law, refusing the Breathalyzer test means an automatic 180-day loss of license.

May 5 2013

Sudbury police chief resigns after arrest

Dr. Q

The Sudbury police chief has resigned after being arrested in his hometown of Tyngsborough for OUI, driving to endanger, and assault while off-duty and driving a town-issued vehicle (Source: Wicked Local).

Nov 26 2011

State trooper skips arraignment after leading police on chase

Dr. Q

State Police Captain Thomas McCarthy

Boston.com reports that on November 18th, State Police Captain Thomas McCarthy was arrested after leading Saugus police officers on a motor vehicle chase.

Saugus police were responding to an alarm an reports of an argument at a woman’s home. When they arrived, they found the woman standing in her garage and Captain McCarthy driving away in an unmarked Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser.

Shortly after, Saugus police officer James M. Scott found McCarthy swerving in and out of a lane on Central Street and attempted to pull him over. McCarthy kept driving for about a block, but finally stopped. At this point, McCarthy turned on his flashers to signal that he was a police officer.

Officer Scott approached McCarthy’s vehicle. He wrote in his report that he could smell alcohol on McCarthy’s breath. He told McCarthy to shut off his vehicle and McCarthy allegedly responded by saying something like “Are you kidding me?”

Scott asked McCarthy to shut off his vehicle again and McCarthy allegedly said “You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m outta here.” At this point, he drove off.

McCarthy led Saugus police on a high speed chase, allegedly blowing through a stop sign, before finally stopping in the parking lot of Sears Automotive.

Scott and a second officer who has arrived as backup attempted to place McCarthy under arrest, but he resisted and they had to wrestle him to the ground to get him in handcuffs. After they arrested him, they searched his vehicle and found two unopened beer bottles, one empty beer bottle, and McCarthy’s firearm.

McCarthy was charged with failure to stop for a police officer and failure to stay in marked lanes by the Saugus police. He was also suspended indefinitely without pay from his job by the state police.

McCarthy was supposed to be arraigned at the Lynn District Court, but skipped out on the court hearing. His lawyer, Daniel W. O’Malley, told the court that McCarthy could not make it because he was at a “facility in Florida” which is likely a rehab facility of some sort. He filed a motion to exclude MJcCarthy from the arraignment, but a judge denied this motion. The judge did, however, agree to a motion to move the arraignment to December 2.

This story is pretty disturbing for a number of reasons. Obviously McCarthy’s behavior is extremely troubling in itself. However, the way the Saugus police dealt with him is also troubling. Although one officer indicated that he smelled alcohol on McCarthy’s breath and police found an empty bottle of beer in his car, they did not charge McCarthy with OUI. The police report for McCarthy’s arrest makes no mention of police conducting a field sobriety test, using a breathalyzer, or using any of the other methods police generally use to determine if a driver is drunk. This suggests that even though McCarthy led the police on a chase and resisted arrest, they were still willing to give him preferential treatment.

The Boston Herald reports that State Police filed a criminal complaint in the Lynn District Court seeking a probable cause hearing to charge McCarthy with OUI. They are also investigating whether or not Officer James Scott was pressured by his department to give McCarthy special treatment.

According to the Herald, McCarthy made $213,474 last year.

I’ll post an update on this story as soon as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can check out this news video about the case from WFXT/Fox News 25:

Nov 18 2011

Truro police chief steps down

Dr. Q

Truro Police Chief John Lundborn, who was arrested on drunk driving charges by his own department last month, has resigned, according to the Cape Cod Times. The Truro board of selectmen voted 4-0 Wednesday night to accept Lundborn’s resignation.

The selectment also voted 4-0 to appoint Lt. Kyle Takakjian as the police chief. Takakjian had already been serving as acting chief since Lundborn has been on administrative leave during the investigation into his conduct.

Lundborn had been with the department since 1989, but had only been appointed chief in April of this year. He is currently facing OUI and negligent operation of a motor vehicle charges after he crashed a police cruiser on the night of October 14. According to a recent Associated Press report, the police cruiser Lundborn destroyed was purchased the day of the crash. It was worth more than $31,000.

Lundborn is currently scheduled for an arraignment on December 6 at the Plymouth District Court.

I’ll post an update about this case as soon as more information becomes available.

WFXT/Fox News 25 has a short news video about this case which can view here:

Oct 18 2011

Truro police chief arrested on drunk driving charges

Dr. Q

Here’s an interesting story. Truro Police Chief John Lundborn was arrested Friday night on drunk driving charges by his own department. Lundborn was apparently involved in a single-car accident when he drove an unmarked police vehicle off Pilgrim Heights Road and crashed into the woods.

Here’s how Sgt. Craig Danziger, the officer who responded to the crash, described the incident in his police report (.pdf):

I exited my vehicle and walked to the drivers side window of the unmarked Dodge Charger. Chief John R. Lundborn was seated in the drivers seat. I observed that his pants were pulled down to the mid thigh area exposing his underwear. I observed cuts on his hands. I observed that the Charger’s airbag had deployed and that the windshield was cracked. The drivers side window of the Charger was down. I could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage from the Charger’s passenger compartment. I asked Chief Lundborn if he was injured. Chief Lundborn looked at me. His eyes were watery, glassy, and severely bloodshot. Chief Lundborn stated to me, “Craig, you got called in for this? Chief Lundborn then stated to me, “I am done Craig. My life is over.” I again asked Chief Lundborn if he was injured. Chief Lundborn stated to me, “Come on Craig. No. I am ruined.” I told Chief Lundborn that I could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage from the passenger compartment of the Charger and asked him if he had been drinking. Chief Lundborn looked at me and asked, “Craig, are you serious? A lot. My life is over.” I observed that when Chief Lundborn spoke, his speech was slow and slurred.

Chief Lundborn was visibly distraught and began to cry. I was concerned that he might be in possession of his duty weapon. I asked Chief Lundborn to exit the Charger to ensure that he was unarmed and to have him perform a series of field sobriety tests. Chief Lundborn fumbled for the drivers side door handle of the Charger. I assisted him with opening the door. Chief Lundborn started to exit the Charger. Chief Lundborn fell towards me. I took hold of his right arm to prevent him from falling. Chief Lundborn fell back against the side of the Charger. As I stood face to face with Chief Lundborn, I could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath. Based on my observations of Chief Lundborn, I formed the opinion that he was intoxicated and that he would not be able to safely perform a series of field sobriety tests without risk of injury. I advised and placed Chief Lundborn under arrest for 90/24/J OUI LIQUOR and 90/24/E NEGLIGENT OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE. I radioed dispatch and requested Truro Rescue to my location for evaluation. Chief Lundborn was transported to Cape Cod Hospital by Lower Cape Ambulance. I followed behind in my cruiser.

Lundborn was released from police custody on personal recognizance and stayed overnight at the hospital for evaluation.

Lundborn has been placed on administrative leave from his job pending an investigation by the Truro selectmen, according to the Cape Cod Times. The selectmen will be holding a meeting tonight to discuss their next action.

While Lundborn is on leave, Truro police Lt. Kyle Takakjian has assumed his role as head of the department.

Lundborn was originally to be arraigned yesterday at Orleans District Court, but his arraignment was continued until October 4, according to the Cape Cod Times. Lundborn did not appear in court at the originally scheduled time and his attorney, John Vigliotti, said that he is currently undergoing medical treatment of some kind. Future court proceedings may be moved to Plymouth District Court.

Lundborn has been employed by the Truro Police Department since 1989, but was only sworn in as chief a few months ago. His job as chief pays $102,000 a year. Lundborn currently continues to collect his salary while on administrative leave from the department.

Assuming the police report is accurate, I’m glad to see that Truro police give fellow officers — including their supervisors — the same treatment they give to the public rather than trying to sweep their offenses under the rug.

It will be interesting to see how this case plays out. I’ll post more information as soon as it becomes available.

You can check out a couple news videos about this case from WFXT/Fox News 25 here: