Police Log

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The Police Log is a digest of reports provided by the Johnston Police, Rhode Island State Police and other departments.

LARGE KNIFE

On May 31 around 10:30 a.m., Lieutenant Joseph Salvadore reports that he was on patrol in the area of Killingly Street at Greenville Avenue when he observed a driver traveling eastbound who was not wearing a seatbelt.

A traffic stop was initiated and the driver was identified as Teddy S. Lopez, Jr. While speaking with Lopez, the Lieutenant observed in plain view a black knife in the area of the gear shift. Lopez was then removed from the vehicle, and the knife, which measured 3.5” in length, was removed. The knife was in violation of the weapons other than firearms statute.

Lopez was then placed under arrest without incident and advised of his rights. While searching Lopez, Lieutenant felt Lopez’s body tense and believed, based on his experience, that he may have been attempting to conceal something. Lieutenant Salvadore noted that that Lopez is on federal probation for narcotics and was arrested in Connecticut for narcotics.

Lopez was placed in a cruiser and transported to police headquarters while Patrolman Solinaro of the Providence Police Department arrived on scene with his certified narcotics canine. While a blue straw with white residue was found, the search did not reveal any further weapons or narcotics. The vehicle was then towed from the scene.

At the station, a search of Lopez also proved negative for contraband. He was charged with misdemeanor weapons other than firearms prohibited, and released with a Third District Court summons.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

On May 30 around 3:15 p.m., the Johnston Police Department received a call from a reporting party who stated he was following behind an erratic driver. The caller described the vehicle as a Jeep Cherokee, and that he was traveling on Central Avenue while the Jeep was driving on the wrong side of the road. The caller also stated that the vehicle later drove onto someone’s lawn on Pinewood Avenue.

Officer Michael Protano responded to the call and found the suspect vehicle on Jaffrey Street, and he reported that he observed the vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the roadway. He then conducted a traffic stop, and met with the driver, identified as Michael Hinsepp, 54, of 4 Groton Street in Johnston. Hinsepp was advised of the reason for the stop and told that someone had been following him.

According to the report, Hinsepp began to speak but could not form a sentence, and the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the driver. When asked for his driver’s license, Hinsepp allegedly began to pull out money from his center console and wallet, and could not provide a license. The officer then observed a nip bottle in the car and a case of beer in the back seat of the vehicle. Patrolman Parascandolo then arrived on scene to provide backup.

A quick discussion was had with the witness who followed Hinsepp. He advised that he followed the vehicle from the Sportsmen Lounge on Waterman Avenue in Smithfield. He had also contacted the Smithfield Police Department as Hinsepp was driving erratically there. The man stated that Hinsepp also hit a guardrail on Route 295 as he was driving in the breakdown lane. The call was then transferred to the State Police and then to the Johnston Police Department as Hinsepp made his way through the different communities.

Hinsepp was then asked to exit his vehicle and to partake in a series of standardized sobriety tests, which he agreed to. However, as the tests began, Hinsepp allegedly stated “ No I’m not following (expletive)” and “You cant arrest me on my own property…you didn’t see me driving.” It was then that Rhode Island State Police arrived on scene and Hinsepp refused to take any more tests.

Hinsepp was placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence and escorted to the rear of Officer Protano’s cruiser. He then reportedly became uncooperative and would not place his feet in the cruiser. He eventually was transported to police headquarters, where he later refused to take a breathalyzer test. He was charged with driving under the influence first offense and refusing to take a breathalyzer test. He was also issued a summons for leaving a lane of travel. He was later transported to detox by Johnston Fire/Rescue.

FRAUDULENT CHECKS

On May 7 around 4:30 p.m., a complainant responded to police headquarters in reference to fraudulent checks. There they told Officer Derrick Palazzo that her company made an oil delivery to 26 Farnum Pike in Smithfield on February 3. The total cost of the delivery was $259.90, and a check was written out by the customer, identified as Heidi Machado, 44, of the same address.

The woman stated that she deposited the check into a business account, however several days later she received a return notice that stated there were insufficient funds in Machado’s account. Numerous attempts were then made to contact and recover the funds from Machado, however they were met with negative results. The woman stated that on April 18 she sent a certified letter to Machado for the amount owed plus a $15 returned check fee, however no attempts at payment had been made. The woman advised that she wished to pursue a criminal complaint.

The report was forwarded to department detectives, and on May 9 an arrest warrant was prepared for Machado on the charge of fraudulent checks under $1,500. Several attempts were made to locate Machado, however they were unsuccessful.

On June 1, officers responded to Smithfield Police Headquarters to take custody of Machado, who had been picked up on the warrant charge. She was transported to Johnston where she was processed and later released with a District Court summons.

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