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Report of Fight in Trader Joe’s Lot leads to Arrest for DUI, Assault

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Warwick, RI – Warwick Police responded to Trader Joes’s April 10 at 10:25 p.m. for a woman’s report of a man who had attacked a co-worker escorting her before driving away, arresting the attacker at a nearby intersection.

Officer Quentin Tavares arrived at the location, driving past Trader Joe’s in search of the attacker’s car, a four door silver Honda, finding it stopped at the intersection of Bald Hill and Tollgate Roads. The woman had reported the driver seemed extremely intoxicated, according to the officer’s report.

Tavares turned on his emergency lights as the traffic light turned green, but it took the driver about half a mile to finally pull over for the officer, according to the report. Tavares spoke with the operator, identified as James Kaplan, 40, of 940 Quaker Lane, Apt. 2508, checking his license and registration.

As Tavares did that, Officer Aaron Kay arrived and, after smelling a strong odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath, put Kaplan through a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed.

Kaplan swayed and showed a lack of smooth pursuit in his vision, broke heel-to-toe cadence, shuffling and using his arms for balance during the walk-and-turn, and also used his arms for balance during the one-leg stand.

Kay arrested Kaplan on suspicion of DUI, transporting him back to Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Tavares proceeded to Trader Joes, where the woman who reported the assault told him Kaplan, a friend, had shown up at Trader Joes’s at closing, first texting her that he didn’t want to see her anymore, then texting to say he was waiting for her outside.

Fearing for her safety, the woman asked a co-worker to walk her to her car.

While they were in the lot, Kaplan, who was clearly under the influence of alcohol, approached them, then began swinging at her co-worker, who wrestled Kaplan to the ground, preventing him from attacking him further, the woman said, according to the report.

Kaplan then left the area in his car, she said.

At Warwick Police Headquarters, Kaplan was charged with DUI, first offense, blood alcohol content unknown, and simple assault. He was also issued a violation for refusing to submit to a blood test.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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