The Police Log is a digest of reports provided by the Johnston Police, Rhode Island State Police and other departments.
Joao Goncalves, 30, 965 Plymouth Ave., Fall River, Massachusetts, reported to the Johnston Police Department on March 22 to turn himself in on a charge of vandalism/malicious injury to property.
Goncalves was released on $1,000 personal recognizance until his April 1 Third Division District Court date.
The arrest stems from an alleged incident on Feb. 1, when Patrolman Derrick Palazzo responded to a vandalism complaint. The reporting party told Palazzo he permitted a customer to respond to his business and retrieve belongings from their vehicle. Police said the person arrived with who appeared to be her boyfriend, who went to the back of the car with a screwdriver to remove the license plate.
They took their belongings and left without an issue, but the reporting party later saw scratches on several panels of the car. The party told police that it was near where the unknown man, later identified as Goncalves, was standing. After reviewing video surveillance, police said the reporting party saw Goncalves scratching the vehicle with the screwdriver.
Detective Michael G. Edwards reviewed the damage and video surveillance on Feb. 5. Edwards said he observed Goncalves on the tape using a long snow scraper to make scratches on the rear doors. Edwards said he then saw Goncalves use a screwdriver to scratch the trunk while removing the plate. Edwards also noted that Goncalves used an unknown object to scratch the rear operator’s side corner of the vehicle.
Edwards said he was advised the surveillance camera at the entrance may have captured a clear look at the man’s face. Edwards tried to make a contact with the woman, whose name has been redacted, regarding the vandalized car on Feb. 6. She said she was unaware Goncalves had allegedly vandalized the vehicle. Police said the woman told them that he travels for work, but that she would contact him so that he could reach out to Edwards.
Edwards heard from the woman again on March 19, when she told him she and Goncalves would report to headquarters by March 20. An affidavit was drafted March 20 before he ultimately turned himself in March 22.
A man responded to Johnston Police headquarters on March 30 for a threats complaint after he and his friend got into a verbal altercation earlier in the day.
Police said the man told him that his friend – later identified as Jamie Betters, 30, 101 Carnation St., Pawtucket – had been calling his phone non-stop and left two threatening voicemails. Police said the voicemail said the man was a “dead man walking” and that he would “pop his head off.” Police also noted that a voicemail said he would wait outside the man’s place of work and “cause a scene by taking his head off.”
The man said he was in fear for his safety, as Betters has prior firearm and felony assault charges. It was advised that Betters was also wanted on multiple warrants – a Superior Court warrant, a Cranston Police Department warrant for domestic simple assault and domestic disorderly conduct, and a Pawtucket Police Department warrant for harassing communication.
The same day, Patrolman Arthur Petteruti was informed of Betters’ suspected car and workplace. While on patrol, Petteruti drove past 22 Buck Hill Road in Johnston and saw Betters exit his car. Petteruti said that, upon seeing his police car, Betters quickly went inside. Petteruti radioed for additional officers when he saw the suspect vehicle leave and travel south on Shun Pike. He detained the vehicle, but Betters was no longer inside.
Petteruti and two other officers responded to 22 Buck Hill Road again, where they saw Betters inside the establishment through an open garage door. As Petteruti exited his vehicle, Betters fled on foot behind the building. Petteruti gave chase and said several times, “Police! Stop running!”
Patrolman Kevin Brady continued the pursuit while Petteruti set up a perimeter. Brady said he chased after Betters for about 500 yards, after which Betters surrendered on top of a large loam mound.
DUTY TO STOP
On March 31, Patrolwoman Vanessa Wilcox arrested Cory M. Finnegan, 22, 177 Central Ave., North Scituate, on a charge of duty to stop, accident resulting, damage to attended vehicle.
Wilcox said the arrest stemmed from an alleged incident at Cumberland Farms on 2643 Hartford Ave. in Johnston. Finnegan was later released with a Third Division District Court summons for an April 8 court date. Finnegan was also issued summonses for failure to file an accident report and entering from a private road or driveway.