WARWICK, RI — On Dec. 21 at 1:54 a.m., Officer Nicholas DeLuca was patrolling the Stop & Shop lot when he spotted a swerving driver in a Jeep he ultimately charged with DUI and meth possession.
DeLuca spotted the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the corner of the lot, closest to the street. As the officer circled the lot, the Jeep left the plaza at a high speed, and DeLuca followed. As he followed the Jeep north on Warwick Avenue, he noted it crossed over the yellow lines toward oncoming traffic, both drivers’ side tires crossing, several times, according to the officer’s report.
DeLuca stopped the Jeep at the corner of Merle Street and identified the driver as Brian Mellen, 57, of 72 Read St., Riverside, RI.
Mellen told DeLuca he had been leaving the McDonalds and CVS in the plaza, heading to visit family nearby. DeLuca noted his manner was nervous, with twitching hands and a shaking head, bloodshot eyes and excited, rapid speech. DeLuca spotted a glass pipe between the driver’s seat and center console.
When asked about the pipe, Mellen said it was for crystal methamphetamine, meth, which he had recently smoked with an online acquaintance in Pawtucket, who he knew only as Kevin.
DeLuca searched Mellen’s Jeep, finding 1.4 grams of crystal methamphetamine in a plastic bag with Mellen’s first name on it.
DeLuca put Mellen through a series of sobriety tests, during which he demonstrated no involuntary eye movements or impaired vision. However, Mellen did not follow heel-to-toe instruction during a walk test, put his foot down and hopped during a one-leg stand, could not touch the tip of his nose, and his eyes did not move together while following DeLuca’s finger.
DeLuca arrested Mellen on suspicion of DUI, and transported him to Kent Hospital, where he was evaluated but refused a blood test. Deluca next took him to Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, where he was charged with DUI, blood alcohol content unknown, and one count of possession of crystal methamphetamine. He was cited for refusing the blood test.
Mellen’s car was towed from the road by Blue Sun Towing.
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