Police Log

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ASSAULT

A suspect involved in an altercation in August was recently apprehended and charged with simple assault /battery and disorderly conduct.

On August 19 around 11:30 a.m. Officer Louis Cotoia and Sergeant Joe Scichilone responded to a report of an assault that had taken place. Dispatch advised the officers that the suspect involved in the assault was no longer at the scene. The officers met with the victim, who stated that he was assaulted outside of his house by Joseph Lawrence Jr., 28, of 365 Woonasquatucket Avenue in North Providence.

The complainant advised that he and Lawrence had been “beefing” for approximately a week and a half about “questionable issues of morale turpitude.” He said that he had received a text message that morning from Lawrence accusing him of having a poor work ethic and that he had made a complaint at the victim’s place of employment.

The victim told the officer that he had blocked Lawrence’s phone number in his cell phone because he did not wish for things to escalate further. When the man arrived home at approximately 11:15 a.m. an unknown vehicle pulled up behind him. When the victim exited his vehicle he recognized Lawrence in the passenger seat of the other car. The man stated both Lawrence and the driver exited their car and a verbal argument ensued.

During the argument, the complainant said he was struck from behind and knocked to the ground where he hit his head on the pavement. He then rolled onto his back and found that Lawrence had mounted him and began striking his face with a closed right fist and then head-butted him. Lawrence and the other party then left the scene after the victim said he would call the police.

The officers observed that the victim sustained a laceration below his eye and had several scratches located around his neck. The officers photographed the injuries and the victim was then evaluated by the Johnston Fire Department. Officers noted that the man regurgitated several times and was eventually taken to Roger Williams Hospital for further evaluation.

A female party at the scene at the time of the incident corroborated the victim’s story, but stated that she would not be able to identify the suspect. On August 20, an affidavit and arrest warrant was prepared for Lawrence for simple assault /battery and disorderly conduct. On September 19 around 4:50 p.m., Detectives John DeAngelis and Thomas Dwyer responded to 365 Woonasquatucket Avenue in North Providence and apprehended Lawrence for the outstanding warrant. He was then transported to Johnston Police Headquarters where he was processed and eventually released with a Third District Court summons.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

Officer Kevin Brady along with several members of the police department responded to Dyerville Avenue on September 18 around 8 p.m. for a possible breaking and entering in progress. While en-route to the scene dispatch advised the officers that a female suspect was currently breaking a glass window.

At the scene the officers found Kerrie Oliveira, 30, of 235 Highland Avenue in Johnston, seated in the driver’s seat of a car. She told officers she came to visit a man at his place of business, and when she realized he was not there she began to yell and scream and then kicked the business window causing it to shatter.

According to the police report, a neighbor came to the scene before police arrived to see what the commotion was and asked Oliveira what she was doing. Oliveira is alleged to have said “shut up (expletive) and mind your own business.” The woman then contacted police.

Oliveira was subsequently placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and transported to police headquarters where she was processed and later released. The owner of the business advised that he did not wish to pursue a criminal complaint regarding the vandalism.

COUNTERFEIT CHECKS

Louis Lafazia, 24, of 400 Putnam Pike in Smithfield, was recently arrested for suspicion of counterfeiting.

According to police reports, on January 20, 2017, Patrolman David Slinko spoke with a complainant who stated that on or about December 25 of 2016 it came to her attention that her checkbook was missing from her residence. She then contacted her financial institution and obtained copies of recent transactions. There she discovered that there were several suspicious checks made payable to Lafazia that she did not sign. She then told officers that she wished to file a criminal complaint, and a warrant for his arrest was drafted.

On September 19 Lafazia turned himself in to the Johnston Police station for the active warrant and charges. He was charged with two counts of counterfeiting, one count of exploitation of an elder and one count of larceny under $1,500. Lafazia also had an active warrant out of the Smithfield Police Department for passing counterfeit bills.

EMBEZZLEMENT

A woman suspected of embezzling from a company was recently arrested.

On January 24, 2012, Officer Adam Parkinson, Sergeant Megan Boulet and Detective Thomas Dwyer responded to a Johnston business for a report of a possible embezzlement from the company. According to the store manager’s account, he was completing paperwork and noticed that an employee, Antoinette Simmons, 46, of 670 Prairie Avenue in Providence, had failed to fill out her “closing safe sheet” which was typically done by all employees at the end of their shift. The sheet illustrates the amounts and denominations of money left in a cash register drawer at the end of a shift.

The manager said he then discovered that Simmons’ drawer was $200 short. When she arrived back at work, she was questioned about the missing money and denied stealing the money and became emotional. The manager later reviewed surveillance video and observed Simmons cleaning an area by the safe suspiciously. The report indicates that Simmons pressed a button on the safe, which is used to replenish a dwindling cash drawer, three times. The manager then attempted to call Simmons into his office again to question her, but learned that she has surreptitiously left the business early.

The manager advised the officers that he would provide them with a copy of the footage. On January 27, an arrest warrant was issued for Simmons. At approximately 9 p.m. on September 20, officers responded to the Pawtucket Police Department to pick up Simmons, who had been picked up by that department. She was then transported to Johnston Police headquarters and processed for the felony embezzlement charge. Later, she was taken to the Third District Court.

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