Warwick, RI – Officer Robert Larson was patrolling near WalMart on Bald Hill Road March 2 when a driver in a black 2008 Lexus wanted for counterfeiting swerved across the center lines, nearly striking his cruiser.
Larson reported he was forced to swerve to avoid a collision of the two vehicles. The officer turned his cruiser around and followed the Lexus into the WalMart parking lot, and activated lights and siren to pull the driver over.
The driver brought the Lexus to a complete stop, then continued through the lot headed north another 30 seconds before stopping finally, according to the officer’s report.
Larson spoke with the driver, later identified as Trenton Woollard, 23, of 31 Cedar Pond Road, Warwick, asking for his license, registration and proof of insurance. As the man searched for the documents, he appeared lethargic, Larson reported.
Larson also reported smelling an odor of alcohol coming from the car, and asked who among the occupants had been drinking. Woollard said he had not; however, his eyes appeared watery, his pupils were constricted and his voice seemed slurred, according to the officer’s report.
The officer asked Woollard to step from the vehicle, and asked about his slurred speech, to which Woollard replied his speech seemed that way because he was from Las Vegas, and people speak differently there. Larson replied that slurred speech is not part of an accent.
The officer asked Woollard to perform a series of sobriety tests, which he failed, according to the officer’s report. He showed a lack of smooth pursuit in his vision, missed heel-to-toe cadence and stepped from the line on the walk-and-turn test, then swayed, used his arms for balance and put his foot down during the one-leg-stand.
During the tests, Larson noticed a bluish-green chemical accumulating on Woollard’s lips.
Larson transported Woollard to Kent County Hospital, where he refused to submit to a chemical blood test, saying he didn’t like needles.
The officer transported him to Police Headquarters, where he was charged with driving under the influence, blood alcohol content unknown. He was also issued citations for operating without insurance, improper use of headlights, and refusing to submit to a chemical test.
During processing, Larson noticed an open warrant for counterfeiting from the WPD that had not been signed. Larson waited for the warrant to be signed by a Justice of the Peace, then also charged Woollard with passing counterfeit bills.
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