WARWICK, RI — Officer Ali Jaafar was driving south on Oakland Beach Avenue Aug. 19 at 8:32 p.m. when he passed a motorcyclist pulled over in the breakdown lane revving his engine, with a fresh cut over his right eyebrow.
Jaafar turned into the parking lot of the Warwick Boys and Girls Club to check on the motorcyclist, watching as he revved his bike for about two minutes before slowly continuing to ride, but weaving and stopping three times to avoid losing his balance on the bike, according to the officer’s report.
The man travelled about 700 ft. before Jaafar stopped him, and identified the man as Sean Sanita, 22, of 30 Osceola Ave., Narragansett, RI. Sanita got off his bike to speak with the officer, who reported he could smell a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, according to the report.
Jaafar reported that Sanita quickly admitted to having been drinking, telling the officer he was only down the street from his destination. The officer reported Sanita’s face was flushed red, and his eyes were bloodshot. The man also had trouble keeping his balance as he spoke to the officer, Jaafar reported.
Jaafar also observed scratches on the side of the motorcycle that seemed consistent with a recent fall. Sanita told the officer he had stopped earlier due to a mechanical issue with the motorcycle.
Sanita’s license was discovered to be suspended during a check of his identity. Jaafar asked him to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which he consented to.
During the tests, Sanita exhibited nystagmus, or involuntary eye movement, a lack of smooth pursuit in his vision, an inability to walk heel-to-toe during the walk and turn test, and was unable to balance properly during the one-leg stand.
Jaafar arrested Sanita on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and put him in the back of his cruiser. Jaafar conferred briefly with other officers on the scene, then attempted to take Sanita out of the cruiser for a more thorough search before transporting him to Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
Sanita fought the officer as he attempted to remove him from the cruiser, and had to be physically wrestled out of the cruiser, partially on the ground, before Jaafar could properly search him, according to the report.
When Jaafar attempted to put Sanita back in the cruiser, the man resisted this attempt to move him as well, and Jafarr needed the help of other officers on the scene to place Sanita back in the cruiser. In the process, Sanita kicked Officer Adam Arico in the arm and spit on his boots.
At this point, a paddy wagon was called to transport Sanita, according to the report, and Arico, Jaafar, Officer David Boardman and Sgt. Alan Valliere wrestled the man into it, struggling with him as he used his legs to brace the doors open.
The officers were able to get Sanita into the paddy wagon after Boardman used pepper spray on Sanita. The officer then transported Sanita to Warwick Police Headquarters.
At the station, Sanita was decontaminated then placed in a cell, where he immediately attempted to damage the toilet. The officers moved him to a padded cell, then transported him to Kent County Memorial Hospital by rescue.
Jaafar charged Sanita with driving under the influence of alcohol, and also with simple assault, and cited him for refusing a breath test.
This is a test