WARWICK, RI — Warwick officer Aaron Steere was watching Motel 6 at 20 Jefferson Blvd. Dec. 18 at about 8:16 a.m. when he noticed two men making several trips to two parked vehicles, one a 2010 Hyundai Accent, stopping the driver as he left the lot, finding crack cocaine then towing it before arresting him on a possession of crack charge at his hotel later that night.
Steere was in the rear lot of the hotel watching as the men walked between the motel and the vehicles, but never appearing to place or remove items from them. Steere ran background checks on the vehicles, learning that the Hyundai had been driven by Francis Christy, 38, with a last known address of Apt. 250 at the Motel 6, on several occasions. Steere also discovered that Christy had been charged by authorities in Rhode Island several times, for marijuana possession, disorderly conduct, felony assault with a weapon similar to a firearm, shoplifting, several possession with intent to deliver charges, passing counterfeit bills and receiving stolen goods. Steere also learned Christy was staying at the hotel, and that his driver’s license had been suspended, according to Steere’s report.
Based on Christy’s criminal history and the suspicious nature of the men visiting his car, Steere waited till Christy himself got into the car and started driving it out of the lot, and pulled him over to address the suspended license charge. Steere called for a tow truck to take away the Hyundai, since Christy was not a licensed driver, and asked Christy to get out of the car, the officer reported.
An inventory of Christy’s car turned up torn off pieces of plastic baggies, or “twisties,” commonly used to package narcotics, according to Steere’s report. One piece of plastic on the floorboard under the front driver’s seat, where Steere found pieces of a white rock-like substance he suspected was crack cocaine.
Steere informed Christy of his suspicion, and that if the substance tested positive for crack cocaine, he would be charged for possession of the drug. Christy didn’t deny it was crack, but that he had been unaware it was in the car. Steere charged him with driving with a suspended license, and released him, returning to Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, for a testing kit to test the substance for crack cocaine.
At the station, the substance tested positive for crack, and Steere returned to Motel 6 with two other officers to arrest Christy on a charge of possession of crack cocaine.
At the motel, Steere knocked on Christy’s room door several times, finally calling into the room that he needed to speak with the man about his car, which they had towed, according to the officer’s report. Christy responded, “That’s all you’re here for?” and opened the door. With the door open, Steere told Christy he was under arrest.
A struggle ensued, during which the two officers were able to pin Christy on the room’s bed, “…where it took the full effort of both officers to gain control of his arms,” according to the officer’s report.
The officers transported Christy back to the station, where he was formally charged with possession of crack cocaine, and transported to the Kent County Courthouse to be arraigned.