Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

WEST YARMOUTH MAN IS ARRESTED FOR LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT AFTER CAUSING PROPERTY DAMAGE AND OTHER CRIMINAL CHARGES

There’s nothing like an extreme circumstance to help you make a point that, otherwise, otherwise seem a little complicated. In fact, I will bet that you did not need this Boston criminal lawyer to tell you that this particular gentleman did not act appropriately…or legally.

West Yarmouth’s 32-year-old Christopher Sprague (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) will be visiting with a judge today in Orleans District Court. He was arrested early this morning on a number of Massachusetts motor vehicle crimes stemming from his actions at a West Dennis Tedeschi’s convenience store.

According to law enforcement, the Defendant rammed his truck through the front of the store. Several 911 calls came in to report the matter at around 12:36 a.m. Witnesses reported that a dark-colored Dodge pickup truck drove through the front entryway of the store.

The store was open and, in fact, a customer allegedly had to leap over the cashier counter to avoid being struck.

Apparently not enough criminal activity for the day having been accomplished, the Defendant is said to have then reversed and pulled forward several times while inside the store before backing out and leaving the scene altogether.

Law enforcement say that the truck fled the scene traveling west on Route 28, scattering debris along the road. Dennis police requested the assistance of Yarmouth police, who found the truck at a home on Circuit Road East. Dennis police arrested the Defendant at the residence.

The Defendant now faces a number of charges relating to the property damage and operation of the motor vehicle. He was released on his own personal recognizance from the police station and given a summons to show up at Orleans District Court.

Meanwhile, the property damage was quite severe. The building at 964 Main St., which houses Swan River Liquors as well as Tedeschi, sustained serious structural damage and has been deemed unsafe by the Dennis building inspector. Both businesses were ordered to close until the building is rendered structurally safe.

The Defendant faces a number of potential criminal charges which include felony charges. Aside from the vandalism and negligent operation of a motor vehicle charges, he could also be charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and, of course, leaving the scene of an accident having caused property damage.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Vehicular Crimes And Leaving The Scene

Clearly, there is much about this case that we do not know. For example, we do not know why the vehicle came plowing through the building. It’s a safe bet that there isn’t a good reason for it.

There also isn’t a good reason for the truck to then leave the scene. After all, it is unlikely that the driver did not realize that he had hit something…a building.

Had the driver not left the scene, the damage alone might not have resulted in criminal charges. However, the leaving the scene raises the matter to a different level. Under Massachusetts law, the driver must stay after any damage, no matter how slight, is done.

“What if it is only a scratch?”

A scratch is damage. Same rule.

“Even a little scrape?”

Even a little scrape.

Of course, one potential issue in this case is, or was, that of the identity of the driver. We do now know what the witnesses described. The fact that the Defendant possessed the vehicle later does not mean that he was actually the driver.

That’s where investigating officers come in. One of the priorities you may be sure for the officers were to get an inculpatory statement.

That would certainly be enough to establish identity. If the Defendant is a regular reader of this blog…he probably did not make any such statements. On the other hand, if he were one of my regular readers, he likely would not have fled the scene either!

To read the original story upon this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/08/25/yarmouth-man-arrested-after-crashing-into-west-dennis-convenience-store/FN3h30uJ9IeMFvliq0zngJ/story.html

Contact Information