Hello again! How was your holiday weekend?
Well, the chances are that it was better than that of Sean Ingram, the 64-year-old retiring fire fighter in Boston and hereinafter, the “Defendant”. He is the gentleman who was arrested Thursday night after “ purposefully crashing into a state police vehicle and calling troopers “Nazis” while failing field sobriety tests”, according to WCVB ,
It was one day prior to his reaching the mandatory retirement age according to the fire department. Instead He was scheduled to retire, instead the day was spent in an Arraignment and fighting to be released on $500 bail on various motor vehicle crimes.
It was the reportedly the Defendant’s second OUI.
It was State Trooper Brendan Murphy who first pulled the Defendant’s vehicle over on the Expressway. The stated cause for the stop was reportedly that the officer had noticed damage on Ingram’s front bumper.
In his arrest report, Murphy wrote that he instructed the Defendant to pull off the highway and then returned to his own vehicle. Murphy then noted that the Defendant sped away at a high speed and swerved between lanes before exiting onto Gallivan Boulevard, stopping in front of the Walgreens. The Defendant is said to have then put his vehicle into reverse and accelerated into the front of the trooper’s cruiser.
Trooper Murphy went on to describe how he asked the Defendant if he was ok and that the Defendant shouted, “’No,’ and began yelling how I rear-ended him. I explained to him that he reversed into my cruiser, which he intensely called me a loser and began to become belligerent.”
Apparently, the trooper called for back-up. “When I reached the open window, I immediately detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” Sgt. Kevin Murray wrote in his report on the arrest. He described the Defendant as becoming “very belligerent” and “raising his voice and swearing” when asked about what had happened. He reported that the Defendant had told him that “he had attended the Bruins hockey game earlier that evening and that he had consumed some alcohol”.
According to the reports, the action continued as the Defendant attempted to pass field sobriety tests, acting belligerently all the way, calling the officers “Nazis” and stating how he hated the state police.
Finally, with some difficult, the officers say they cuffed the Defendant and took him into custody.
The Defendant is facing charges of operating under the influence, leaving the scene of a collision causing property damage, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest.
It seems unclear right now whether this was the Defendant’s second OUI.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Bad Stops And Making A Bad Situation Worse
There are a couple of items of interest in this story which raise questions.
First of all, as any regular reader of this blog probably knows, the police are not allowed to simply pull a car over and have the driver exit the vehicle based upon a whim. There must be a reason which makes it permissible.
Quite often, it will be a small violation, such as changing lanes or s busted headlight or something like that. In this case, law enforcement indicates that it was some bumper damage.
Have you ever noticed how many vehicles out there are driving around with some property damage? I have. Many.
This does not sound like a proper basis for pulling the vehicle over,
“But they say there had been an accident…”
Well, we don’t know what, if any, other details were given to single out this car as opposed to the many others with damage.”
“What difference does that make?”
Well, if the stop was unconstitutional, then everything found after and because of that stop must be suppressed.
Including the observations of the Defendant.
Very often, you will hear a defense attorney argue that a reason for a stop is false…made up so that the police could stop the car. This is why. If the stop is bad, then the evidence goes out.
I am sure the defense in this case is considering this.
I hope that the defense in this case is considering this.
Another item of interest is, given the allegations, this defendant has done what we have seen so many defendants do. Namely, take a bad situation and make it horrendous,
Had the Defendant simply pulled over (leaving the stop to be argued as unconstitutional by his lawyer), the worst he would be facing would be a criminal charge, OUI, which may well have ended with a continuance without a finding.
Instead, he has gathered more serious charges to go along with that one. He has shone the spotlight on himself, causing the populous to suddenly look to make sure that he is treated “as he deserves”.
These days, “as he deserves” means “as harshly as possible”.
Imagine that he went along quietly and was booked for OUI. It would probably not have gotten so much attention and very well might not have made a bad ending to a long career in service.
Now, this is what he will likely be remembered for.