Police Log 03-24-22

Posted 3/23/22


Around 4:59 p.m., March 8, Warwick Police were dispatched to investigate a report of a U-Haul truck towing a boat that did not appear to be secured properly, traveling on Main …

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Police Log 03-24-22



Around 4:59 p.m., March 8, Warwick Police were dispatched to investigate a report of a U-Haul truck towing a boat that did not appear to be secured properly, traveling on Main Avenue, north onto Jefferson Boulevard.

Warwick Police located a white 2013 Chevrolet Silverado with U-Haul decals, bearing Arizona plates, towing a large, approximately 30-foot boat.

The black three-axle trailer displayed no registration and was missing no wheels.

“The boat was visibly not secured to the trailer,” Warwick Police Officer Rene G. Gauthier wrote in the incident report.

Gauthier initiated a motor vehicle stop and made contact with the driver, identified as Joseph Fortes, 38, of 26 Scott Drive, East Providence.

Fortes presented a Connecticut driver’s license, but told police he did not have his rental agreement for the U-Haul, and possessed no paperwork proving ownership of the boat or trailer, according to police.

A DMV check revealed a suspended Rhode Island driver’s license, and Fortes told police his primary residence was in East Providence.

“I asked fortes if he had ever been arrested in RI for driving on a suspended license,” Gauthier wrote. “Fortes said he had been, but it was ‘years’ ago. I asked Fortes if he owned the boat and he stated that he had recently bought it through a friend that knew the owner.”

Police asked for the name of the seller and a bill-of-sale for the boat and trailer.

“He responded that his girlfriend possessed that documentation,” Gauthier wrote. “I questioned Fortes on where the boat was being towed from and how long ago he rented the pick-up.”

Fortes told police he rented the truck a week ago, and the boat has been stored in the Big Lots parking lot on Warwick Avenue. He said the trailer needed repairs, so he was renting a room at the Radisson Hotel so he could be in closer proximity to “work on the boat/trailer.”

A background check revealed Fortes had previous charges on his record, for possession of controlled substances and a firearm, according to police.

Due to Fortes’ criminal record and the strange story about the boat, police decided to search him. Police found a 3-inch folding knife.

Police discovered Fortes had two previous convictions for Driving on a Suspended License. A third offense is a misdemeanor charge.

Fortes was cuffed and placed in the back of a cruiser while police searched the vehicle.

Police said they found a backpack containing “a digital scale, multiple clear plastic sandwich bags, a glass tube/pipe with char marks consistent with drug use.”

“There was also an unused dose of Naloxone spray, a clear plastic bag with a white powdery substance and $700 in cash in his wallet,” Gauthier wrote. “There was also several new merchandise items in the vehicle.”

Police found a black, women’s Northface jacket, which still had the security tag attached to the zipper. Police said Fortes could not produce a proof of purchase for the jacket, so it “was taken for safe keeping.”

Police performed “a presumptive test of the white powdery substance which had a negative result.”

The substance was entered into property and will be processed at the state toxicology lab for further analysis, according to police.

Fortes was released around 9 p.m., with a summons to appear in Third District Court for the suspended license charge. He also received citations for Fastening of Load or Covering and Unregistered Vehicle.


At 9:22 a.m., March 8, a Warwick Police officer was driving his cruiser down East Avenue near the CCRI entrance, when he observed a driver not wearing her seatbelt and “manipulating her wireless device” while behind the wheel.

Police stopped the car and identified the driver as Tiffany K. Sebzda, 35, of 30 Central St., West Warwick.

“She indicated her phone usage was due to her looking for directions to the courthouse,” Warwick Police Officer Zachary J. Black wrote in the incident report. “She was unable to provide me with her license; however, she did provide me with her name and date of birth. She was unable to provide me with any registration documents or insurance documents for the vehicle, stating that it was not her vehicle.”

A check on the vehicle yielded an expired registration. A check on Sebzda revealed a suspended license, according to police.

“I then returned to the vehicle and observed Tiffany to be extremely upset, and crying,” Black wrote. “I observed in plain view on the front passenger seat a pill bottle in a purse, along with a clear transparent cylinder-type bottle.”

Police eventually secured Sebzda in the back of a cruiser and searched the vehicle. Police said they found several pills in the vehicle, including two Alprazolam (0.5 mgs), an amphetamine-type pill, and a pill later identified as Bupropion Hydrochloride Extended Release (200 mgs). A female officer arrived on the scene and discovered another “amphetamine blue and white pill” inside a leather purse.

Sebzda allegedly told police the purses were hers, but she did not have any prescriptions in her name.

“She stated that she did not know what the pills were but she believed they were her boyfriend’s pills,” Black wrote.

Sebzda was arrested, booked and processed. She was charged with three counts of Possession of Schedule I-V Controlled Substance (10 g or less) and one count of Operating on a Suspended License (first offense). She also received citations for Text Messaging While Operating a Motor Vehicle and No Seat Belt.

Later that night she was released from Warwick Police Headquarters into the custody of her boyfriend.

Police later determined that Bupropion Hydrochloride is not a schedule narcotic and dropped one of the possession counts.


At 7:30 a.m., Feb. 26, a Johnston Police officer on a fixed post stopped a driver who appeared to be using his cell phone whi8le driving eastbound on Plainfield Street.

The registration plate affixed to the rear bumper was also “not visible due to a tinted plate cover and a thick layer of salt and dirt from the road,” according to the incident report written by Johnston Police Officer Thomas Pederzani.

Police identified the driver as Perry J. Cerbo, of 2 Plantation St., Warwick.

A background check on Cerbo revealed a suspended registration and an active bench warrant for failure to appear at a Third District Court hearing.

Cerbo was arrested and transported to headquarters. The vehicle was towed from the scene.

Cerbo was issued a citation to appear at Third District Court for Operation of Vehicle When Registration is Suspended, Text Messaging While Operating a Motor Vehicle and Display of Plates.

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