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Woman Arrested for Huffing & Driving, Then Ramming Cruisers

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 – A Smithfield driver who huffed spray-air aerosol while driving early Oct. 29 then popped two tires on a curb was arrested by Warwick officers called to intercept her after she fled in her car, ramming two cruisers before police apprehended her.

Warwick Police Maj. Christine A. Kelley said the woman, later identified as Dawn Duquette, 27, of 5 Levesque Dr., Smithfield, caught the attention of a fellow driver at 6:15 a.m. Thursday when she drove into a guard rail near the intersection of Post and Coronado Roads at the Sunoco Station. The caller reported the incident to Warwick Police.

Three cruisers responded to the area and located Duquette’s car parked at the Shell Station a short distance away on Post Road. Kelley said officers reported the woman appeared to be disoriented and impaired.

“She attempted to drive away with the officer hanging on to the vehicle,” Kelley said. The officer wasn’t harmed.

Duquette continued driving down Post Road, with the officers following in their cruisers. The woman attempted a U-turn in front of Hampton Inn, but struck the curb again, and the police boxed her in with their cars. Duquette, backed into the cruiser behind her, then drove forward to ram the cruiser in front of her car before police finally took her into custody. Inside her car, the officers discovered cans of spray air, which Kelley said Duquette had been using to “huff” from — inhale intoxicating aerosol vapor in the compressed air cans.

None of the officers were harmed during the encounter.

The officers charged Duquette with reckless driving, Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs (the aerosol) and possession of a toxic substance (the aerosol). She appeared in Third District Court that morning to answer the charges, pled not guilty and was scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Nov. 18.

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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