On Saturday, February 11, 2017, I was assigned to marked unit West-6 and on routine patrol. At approximately 6:27 PM, I was dispatched to XX Summit Street on a report of a motor vehicle accident. Dispatch further stated that the caller witnessed a gray Cadillac bearing MA registration XXXXX, strike a vehicle at the corner of College Avenue and Summit Street. Both of these streets are public ways within the City of Somerville. Additionally, the caller stated the driver was still in the vehicle. Officer Kim (West-7) also responded along with me.
Upon arrival, I located the vehicle in question matching the description in front of 11 Summit Street. I illuminated the vehicle with the cruiser spotlight and noticed that it was unoccupied but unlocked. An individual later identified as XXXXX came out of XX Summit Street and approached me. XXXXX stated that he was on the sidewalk outside of his house, when he noticed the vehicle that was currently parked in front of his residence, strike a parked car on the street. He said that the driver exited, looked at the damage, and got back into his car where he parked at XX Summit Street. XXXXX told me that the driver appeared to have a hard time parking. While he was speaking with me, he pointed behind me (towards Billingham Street) and stated “That’s him right there.”
I approached the male whom XXXXX pointed out, later identified as Mr. Corey Phillips, and asked him to step over and speak with me. As soon as I got close, I could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from Mr. Phillips. In addition, his eyes were red bloodshot and glossy, and he was unsteady on his feet. I asked Mr. Phillips if he owned that gray Cadillac (I point in the direction of the vehicle). He said “no.” I asked him again, and this time he said “Yes that’s mine.” I noticed that Mr. Phillips’ speech was slurred and he was slow to respond to my questions. I asked him if he realized he hit the vehicle at the end of the street, to which he responded “no”, and then immediately after “Yes, I hit something I’m not gonna lie.” Mr. Phillips began to sway, and at this point I asked him if he had been drinking at all this evening. He responded “no.” I asked him again, pointing out that I could smell alcohol on his breath and that he was unsteady on his feet. Mr. Phillips changed his story and said “I had three or four beers.”
Mr. Phillips said that he was coming to pick up his girlfriend who had just had surgery. I asked him what his girlfriend’s address was, and he said he didn’t know but pointed to one of the houses behind us on Summit Street. As we began to walk in that direction, he said “no that’s not it.” Mr. Phillips said that his girlfriend lived in Revere. When I asked him what he was doing in Somerville, he said that his girlfriend was staying with her sister in Somerville. He then was allowed to place a call to his girlfriend, and I had him put it on speaker phone. His girlfriend YYYYY answered and said that she lived over on Chapel Street (approximately two blocks away). At this point Mr. Phillips began to get agitated and impatient with the questioning. He stated that he needed to pick up his girlfriend to drive her to his house in Medford. I asked him if he would perform field sobriety tests. He responded that he had an injured leg and could not walk. I would like to note that Mr. Phillips walk approximately half a block from where his car was parked and back, and did not present with a limp or complain of any leg pain. I asked him if that injury would prevent him from doing any of the field sobriety tests. He said he would try. I escorted Mr. Phillips to a flat level surface that was well lit. The following tests were performed in this order:
HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN)
Using my Standard Field Sobriety Test Administrative Guide provided to me at the Lowell Police Academy, I read Mr. Phillips instructions for the HGN testing. Mr. Phillips acknowledged that he understood the instructions that I had read to him. Mr Phillips was not wearing any glasses. I checked for resting nystagmus and that his eyes were equally tracking. I then checked for lack of smooth pursuit which I noticed in both the left and right eye, indicating two clues of impairment. Next I checked for distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation. I also noticed this in both the left and right eye, indicating two more clues of impairment. I then check for the onset of nystagmus prior to forty five degrees, which was present in both the left and right eye indicating two more clues of impairment. Last I check for vertical nystagmus which was also present in both the left and right eye, indicating an additional two more clues of impairment. Mr. Phillips at several points during the test had to be reminded to look at my finger, and only use his eyes and not move his head.
ONE LEG STAND
Using my Standard Field Sobriety Test Administrative Guide provided to me at the Lowell Police Academy, I read Mr. Phillips instructions for the one leg stand. After demonstrating the one leg stand test, I asked Mr. Dooley if he understood the instructions to which he responded “no.” I explained and demonstrated the test again, and this time he stated he understood. Mr. Phillips was able to stand on his good leg, and stated that he was not in any pain. Within the first three second of the test, Mr Phillips had to put his foot down and nearly fell over. At this point I discontinued the testing as I feared for the safety of Mr. Phillips.
The walk and turn test was not administered, as Mr. Phillips stated he could not walk earlier. Based on my training and experience and the results of the above stated tests, I placed Mr. Phillips under arrest for the following charges:
– MGL c90 S24 OUI Liquor
– MGL c90 S24 Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
I read Mr. Phillips his rights pursuant to Miranda from a pre-printed card that I keep on my person. At this point Mr. Phillips began to yell “If I was sober and failed the test, would you still arrest me!” I asked several more times if he understood his rights. Finally, Mr. Phillips said that he understood his rights, and would continue to speak with me. He became infuriated with our responses about the field sobriety tests, and said to Officer Kim “If you got shot would you be dead!” Officer Kim was able to contact the owner of the motor vehicle that was struck, and an information exchange was completed. Mr. Phillips’ car was parked in a legal spot and allowed to remain. I said to Mr. Phillips “You shouldn’t have been driving tonight, should you have?” He stated “I shouldn’t have been driving.”
Mr. Phillips was transported to the Station in marked unit 200 operated by Officer Desrochers, and booked by Lieutenant Digregorio. I issued Mr. Phillips MA Uniform Citation R7879619 for the aforementioned charges. Mr. Phillips waived his Miranda Rights again at the booking window, and admitted to having “four beers.” Mr. Phillips accepted the breath test, and the results are a blood alcohol content of 0.16. All associated paperwork will be attached to this report.
Officer Kevin Goulart #326