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Warwick Officers Wake, Arrest Driver for Xanax Without Prescription

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 woke, then arrested a 24-year-old Cranston man June 11 at 11:22 p.m. after checking on a man reportedly asleep at the wheel of his tan 1997 Toyota Camry, unresponsive,in the lot at Stop and Shop, 575 Greenwich Ave., finding a plastic bag of Xanax in his possession for which he didn’t have a prescription.

Officer Jeremy Smith drove into the parking lot and was waved to the Toyota by the woman who had reported the unconscious man. The woman told Smith she had been trying to wake the man in the car for several minutes with no success. She said she and her chief had banged on the window and called to the man in an attempt to stir him, with no success, so she called 911, according to the officer’s report.

Smith observed the man, who had long white hair under a baseball cap, was wearing a baggy sweatshirt, making it difficult to tell if he was breathing. Smith also banged loudly on the car window but was also unable to wake the man, according to his report.

Officer Timothy Lipka, who had also responded to the call, used a punch tool to break the passenger’s side window of the car, which finally woke the man. The driver seemed very confused and had bloodshot eyes, and also mumbled his speech, according to the report. The officers noted the entire passenger’s side of the car had what appeared to be fresh damage from a crash.

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As the man woke, he reached for the car’s ignition, but Lipka removed the keys before he could reach them, and removed them from the car. Smith opened the driver’s side door and helped the man out of the car. His license identified him as James Lopardo, 24, of 115 Salem Ave., Cranston.

Lopardo was unsteady on his fee and had trouble maintaining his balance as Smith asked if he’d been in a recent collision. Lopardo said he didn’t know, but thought that a recent crash into a pole the previous day might have something to do with it.

On Lopardo’s request, Cranston Police checked out Lopardo’s home and searched the area for a recent crash scene that might correspond with the damage, but didn’t find anything, according to Smith’s report.

Smith noticed a small plastic bag containing green rectangular pills, and identified them as Xanax. Lopardo was unable to provide a prescription for the drug. Smith arrested him and transported him to Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, where he was processed and charged for felony possession of a controlled substance.

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Smith noted the damage to the car did not appear to have been from collision with another car, and was rather likely with some abrasive object.

Lopardo was held as a probation violator.