Johnston Police Log



Patrolmen Thomas Hayden and Adam Parkinson responded to CVS at 1993 Plainfield St. on the morning of Sept. 25 for a report of a business alarm triggered from the receiving area.

Upon arrival, Hayden said he entered the parking lot and checked the south corner of the business, which appeared to be secure. As he moved around the rear of the business, he saw a shadowy figure wearing a backpack directly in front of the receiving door. Both officers approached the suspect, identified as Austin Hicks, 24, of 21 Silk Lane, North Scituate.

Hayden said Hicks did not flee the scene and openly admitted to trying to break into the building. Hayden added that there appeared to be a long blue crowbar wedged underneath the corrugated door which appeared to be slightly pried open about three inches on the right side of the area where Hicks was first observed. In addition to wearing rubber-coated work gloves, Hayden said Hicks had a drawstring backpack containing other assorted burglary tools such as a hammer, pliers, pry bar and pair of work gloves.

The key holder and supervisor arrived on scene and conducted a walkthrough of the interior of the business, determining that entry was not gained inside. Hicks was arrested on charges of attempted breaking and entering and possession of burglary tools. VANDALISM

Patrolmen Matthew Winsor, Merrick Cook and Richard Varan and Sgt. Joseph Scichilone responded the afternoon of Sept. 15 to a call concerning Ronald Vento, 47, of 8 Paradise Lane, Johnston, reportedly yelling and punching vehicles inside the showroom of the redacted address.

En route, Winsor said communications personnel advised that Vento had an active arrest warrant from the North Providence Police Department for two counts of vandalism. Upon arrival, Winsor said that he immediately heard the fire alarm inside the business. As he walked inside, he could hear Vento yelling extremely loud while other officers were standing around him trying to calm him down.

Winsor said he then saw Vento take a bladed fighting stance toward Varan, at which point Scichilone deployed his taser and struck Vento in the back, causing him to fall. Scichilone, Varan and Winsor secured Vento in handcuffs. Cook wrote that Vento sustained a small laceration on his back but refused medical attention.

A witness told Winsor that at 2 p.m., Vento asked to speak with him. When he stepped aside to talk to Vento, he asked him where two other parties were and said he needed a vehicle immediately or he was going to blow up the building.

The man said that, as he attempted to calm down Vento, he pulled the fire alarm, ripped his shirt off and began to punch three of the vehicles in the showroom. He was charged with three counts of vandalism/malicious injury to property. ***

Patrolmen David Galligan and Christopher Rotella responded to the West Warwick Police Department to take custody of Christopher Henry, 24, 643 East Ave., Warwick, who was wanted on a Johnston warrant on a charge of vandalism.

Galligan said Henry was taken into custody without incident and transported back to headquarters. Henry was processed and released with a Third Division District Court notice to appear Nov. 9.

Henry’s arrest stemmed from an alleged incident that occurred the evening of Aug. 28, 2019, when Patrolman Nicholas Manocchio responded to a report of vandalism to a motor vehicle.

Upon arrival, he spoke with the reporting party, who said that 11 minutes earlier he had heard a popping sound coming from outside his window. He said he looked outside and saw two men walking around his truck and slashing the tires. The officer said the reporting party told him he yelled at the men from his window and saw them get into a silver sedan and drive off at a high rate of speed.

Manocchio said the man believes the operator of the vehicle to be an ex-coworker, John Walge, 21, 12 Coin St., Warwick. The officer asked the reporting party how he was able to identify the vehicle as Walge’s, to which he state that he used to live with Walge in Warwick. He said he recognized the other man, Henry, because he had seen him at Walge’s house.

The man said that he and Walge had worked together at Pick-N-Pull at 30 Green Earth Ave., and that he and Walge were in a motor vehicle accident and the motorcycle the reporting party was operating was not insured. He said he had been getting repeated calls and texts in an attempt to get money for the accident. Manocchio said he observed said text messages and a digital image of one text was uploaded into the report. FRAUDULENT CHECKS

On the morning of Sept. 18, Sgt. Dennis L. Peacock took custody of Joseph Ritacco, 41, of 103 Scituate Ave., Johnston, who was wanted on an active warrant for two counts of fraudulent checks under $1,000.

Ritacco was later arraigned before a judge and released on personal recognizance until a pre-trial date set for Sept. 28.

Ritacco’s arrest stems from an alleged incident that occurred the morning of March 30. Patrolman David Galligan responded to a redacted address regarding a bad check complaint. Galligan said he spoke to the office manager, who said that he received a check from Ritacco for $210 for an oil delivery service. She said that she was unable to cash the check due to insufficient funds. On March 21, a letter had gone out to Ritacco regarding the check, but he failed to respond.


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