The Police Log is a digest of reports provided by the Johnston and Rhode Island State Police Departments.
A Woonsocket teenager was killed and two passengers in her car were injured after the car went off the road on Interstate 295 in Johnston and struck a tree around 2:30 p.m. on July 10.
The driver, Lungpalinya Phouvong, 17, of 26 Cross St., Woonsocket, was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where she later was pronounced dead. She was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Two other juveniles, who were properly restrained in the vehicle, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They were treated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and later released.
According to a press release, Rhode Island State Police Capt. Derek Borek said the car was heading south on I-295 when it went off the road and struck a tree just north of the Exit 4 ramp to Plainfield Pike. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
HIGH SPEED CHASE
On July 9 around 5 p.m., Patrolman Michael Andreozzi was monitoring a broadcast over police intercity radio regarding a motor vehicle pursuit. RI State Police along with the Lincoln Police Department were in pursuit of a 2005 Ford Explorer, which was traveling east on Putnam Avenue. The reason for the pursuit was the suspect, later identified as Cory Samuel Vargas, 28, of 87 Read Avenue in Lincoln, was allegedly using a car without an owner’s consent, violation of a no contact order, and eluding a law enforcement officer in a high speed pursuit.
According to the report, the vehicle eventually turned right onto George Waterman Road, and it was then that the Lincoln police terminated their pursuit and the State Police lost sight of the vehicle. Moments later, Lieutenant Troy Maddocks broadcasted that he had observed the suspect vehicle traveling south on George Waterman.
Patrolman Andreozzi was traveling north on Greenville Avenue when he observed the Explorer passed him traveling in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed passing other vehicle on the left. The officer then made a U-turn and pursued, but lost sight of the car. Lt. Maddocks then broadcast that the suspect vehicle continued on Greenville Avenue towards Killingly Street. Lt. Maddocks then began broadcasting the pursuit and Officer Andreozzi became the secondary vehicle.
The car made its way onto Cherry Hill Road and turned left on Atwood Avenue heading towards Hartford Avenue where it then turned right while maintaining a high speed. The Explorer nearly struck other officers’ vehicles before taking the on ramp for Route 295 south where it reached speeds of over 80 miles per hour. The suspect briefly lost control of the car on the bypass above Hartford Avenue and struck a guardrail before continuing on.
In the high-speed lane, the car again lost control and left the roadway onto the grassy area and spun out of control. The vehicle came to rest against the rocky outcropping in the center median. Officers then approached and apprehended Vargas.
After being transported to police headquarters, Vargas was charged with felony assault, driving without consent of the owner, eluding a law enforcement officer in a high speed pursuit and resisting arrest. He was later turned over to the Lincoln Police on their charges.
Officer Arthur Petteruti responded to 369 Simmonsville Ave. on July 1 around 10:20 p.m. in reference to a disturbance between a man and a woman in the parking lot. Dispatch had advised that the suspect had left the scene and was sitting at the entrance to Bainbridge Apartments.
At the scene, Officer Petteruti observed a man, later identified as Jonathan Rosa, 19, of 31 Veto St., second floor in Providence, sitting at the entrance. He told the officer that he just left his residence after a verbal argument with his friend, who he had only known for two weeks and had met her through mutual friends on Facebook.
After speaking with Rosa, the officer met with the calling party who was in the parking lot. She stated that she observed Rosa engage in a verbal argument with a woman. She said she saw Rosa take a cellular phone from her hand and smash it on the pavement.
Next, Officer Petteruti spoke with the victim, who confirmed that she met Rosa two weeks ago on Facebook. She stated she was traveling from West Haven, Connecticut, to Johnston with Rosa, and during their travels Rosa became extremely frustrated and aggressive and began to argue with her. She said while on the highway, Rosa took control of the steering wheel and threatened to crash the car. The victim also stated that Rosa struck her in the face with a closed fist while in the car in Connecticut. After allegedly smashing her cell phone, the woman said that Rosa further threatened to shatter her windshield with a rock as soon as she attempts to leave the parking lot.
In his report, the officer noted that due to the assault transpiring in the motor vehicle in Connecticut, the victim was advised to contact the Connecticut State Police if she wished to pursue assault charges.
Rosa was then placed under arrest. A search of his person revealed a rock in Rosa’s front pocket, which was taken as evidence. He was transported to police headquarters, where he was charged with vandalism and disorderly conduct and released with a Third District Court summons.