SUMMARIZING FROM THE NEWS:
Last Saturday police responded to an alarm at a woman's house. Smart woman. Outside of her house they found Cpt. McCarthy was sitting in his unmarked black Ford Crown Victoria. The woman is said to have been in her garage. We don't know why. What happened at the house is not detailed but some articles report that McCarthy had a "dispute" with his girlfriend. Stalking? Threats? Harassment? Assault? Domestic violence? We aren't privvy to know - but the smart (probably fearful) woman's ALARM was sounding. McCarthy was allowed to drive away in the presence of Sargus police responding to the alarm. Whether Sargus police tried to talk to him, or recognized his state police vehicle and allowed him to just go, is not in the news. So McCarthy drives away and later that night is seen committing a "lanes violation" - crossing the yellow center line of a road that SEPARATES the two directions of traffic. Cpt. McCarthy is pulled over by a Saugus police officer who was flashing his blue lights. The officer smells liquor, sees two unopened cans of beer, an empty can in the backseat, as well as McCarthy's service weapon - but can't get McCarthy to agree to turn off and step out of the vehicle. The Saugus police officer gets some back talk from an "indignant" McCarthy, and then let's McCarthy flee, likely (clearly) intoxicated. There is no report in the news of drawing a weapon on McCarthy or commanding McCarthy. 2 more Saugus vehicles join the pursuit, with blue lights activated, and follow McCarthy as he "blew through a stop sign" and eventually pulled over for them. McCarthy is said to have resisted arrest, he had to be forced to the ground, and handcuffed. McCarthy was taken to the Saugus Police station and for some reason not yet disclosed to the public, Cpt. McCarthy was NOT given any kind of testing for alcohol levels in his blood. There are no mentioned charges for driving drunk, resisting arrest. (Assaulting an officer?) State Police showed up at Saugus PD, took their vehicle, state-issue weapon, and put McCarthy on administrative leave pending his DUTY STATUS HEARING. State police also officially recorded their observation that McCarthy appeared to be intoxicated (drunk). In all the news articles I read there was NO mention of bail or bond, and McCarthy was not held. McCarthy decided to be a NO-SHOW for his court arraignment. Oh, State Police Colonel Marian McGovern put on her mad face for the news, and the judge and State Police are reported to be "shocked", but there is no CONSEQUENCE for McCarthy fleeing Massachusetts and checking himself into a rehab center in Florida, instead of coming to court. McCarthy also was required to be at the hearing regaring his job status. But he is the boss (obviously) and didn't show for that either. It was decided, as it would have been even if he had attended, that he is on indefinite leave without pay "as shift commnader". I don't know if there are loopholes in that limiting language or not. The judge agreed to grant the request of McCarthy's defense attorney - and the arraignment is postponed until December. Sweet life.
EXCERPTS FROM THE NEWS:
MASS. STATE POLICE CAPTAIN SUSPENDED OVER CHASE: A state trooper charged with failing to stop for police trying to pull him over last weekend was suspended without pay yesterday.
Telegram & Gazette
November 26, 2011
[Excerpts] A state trooper charged with failing to stop for police trying to pull him over last weekend was suspended without pay... Capt. Thomas McCarthy, 47, the evening shift commander for Troop C based in Holden, was arrested Saturday night... State police gave the following account: Saugus police went to a home where an alarm was sounding Saturday night. A woman who lives there was in the garage, and Capt. McCarthy, who was off duty, was sitting in his unmarked cruiser, a black Ford Crown Victoria. The trooper drove away. A few minutes later, a Saugus police officer saw the driver of the Crown Victoria commit a marked lanes violation on Central Street near Main Street, and stopped the car. The Saugus officer asked the driver to shut off the ignition and get out of the car, but instead the driver drove away. Saugus police followed the car, and ultimately the driver stopped... McCarthy was arrested on charges of failing to stop for police and failing to stay right of center. He was booked at the Saugus police station, where a commander "observed in him signs of intoxication." Capt. McCarthy didn't attend the arraignment scheduled for yesterday in Lynn District Court, and it was rescheduled for Dec. 22... [Full article here]
POLICE CAPT.'S NO-SHOW 'EMBARRASSED DEPARTMENT': Captain Placed On Leave, Faces Charges
November 22, 2011
[Excerpts] A Massachusetts State Police captain is facing motor vehicle charges after a chase following a dispute with his girlfriend in Saugus this weekend, police said. Saugus police went to the Saville Street home of Capt. Tom McCarthy’s girlfriend at about 10:30 p.m.... McCarthy, 47, and his girlfriend had a dispute at the house, and the veteran officer left in his personal unmarked cruiser... A few minutes later, a Saugus officer saw the vehicle commit a marked lanes violation on Central Street, near the intersection with Main Street, State police said. The Saugus officer turned on his blue lights and stopped the black Ford Crown Victoria. When the officer asked McCarthy to turn off the car, he drove away, according to police. The Saugus officer, eventually joined by two other Saugus cruisers, followed McCarthy onto the Main Street overpass and down onto Route 1 southbound. McCarthy pulled over in the parking lot outside the Sears Automotive Center at the Square One Mall, where he was arrested, police said. State police said it appeared McCarthy had been drinking, but he was not given a Breathalyzer test by local police. McCarthy was charged with failure to stop and failure to stay right of the center line. His arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday in Lynn District Court, but McCarthy was not there... State police said McCarthy had taken a sick day on Saturday and had not been on duty. [Full article here]
FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com
Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011
[Excerpts] A state trooper who has been suspended indefinitely after leading Saugus police on a high-speed chase while off-duty with beer in his unmarked cruiser failed to appear in court Tuesday to face the misdemeanor charge. State Police and the judge were both shocked when Capt. Tom McCarthy failed to appear on a charge that carries a $100 fine. Lynn District Court Judge Stacey Fortes-White did allow McCarthy’s arraignment to be continued until December, but noted she was not happy he was a no-show in court. She was also alarmed the prosecution did not bring up any sort of opposition to the fact that McCarthy went to a facility in Florida instead of appearing in court... The due diligence of the Saugus Police Department is also being called into question... McCarthy’s cruiser had two unopened cans of beer, an empty in the backseat, as well as his service gun, all of which were confiscated by the State Police. However, no breathalyzer test was ever issued to McCarthy... McCarthy was pulled over late Saturday night in an unmarked cruiser for crossing the yellow line in the center of town. The report also noted that McCarthy smelled of alcohol and said something like “are you kidding me” before taking off down Route-1. Scott allegedly pursued McCarthy a short distance before the driver pulled into a parking lot. McCarthy was then arrested for marked lane violation and failure to stop for a police officer. [Full article here]
STATIE TAKES OFFTO FLORIDA AFTER SAUGUS CHASE
By Marie Szaniszlo
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
[Excerpts] A state police captain who led Saugus cops on a chase Saturday night, veering over the center yellow line “numerous times” before finally stopping, apparently was not given a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test, even though town police reported smelling alcohol, a state police supervisor reported signs of intoxication, and he had an empty beer bottle in his cruiser, police said. State police Capt. Thomas McCarthy, 47, of Stoneham failed to show up for his arraignment yesterday on a charge of failure to stop for a police officer and failure to stay in marked lanes, and is in a “facility” in Florida, the judge was told. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay from his post as shift commander for Troop C in central Massachusetts. McCarthy appeared indignant when patrolman James Scott asked him to turn off his engine after smelling alcohol on him, according to a police report. “You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m outta here,” McCarthy said, the report states. Scott first spotted McCarthy at about 10:30 p.m. on Saville Street. McCarthy took off after being pulled over, the report states, and three cruisers followed him as he blew through a stop sign and onto Route 1. As they passed Square One Mall, McCarthy turned into the Sears parking lot and came to a stop. Scott ordered McCarthy “numerous times” to turn off the car and toss the keys out, his report said, but McCarthy refused. When he finally got out, Scott told him he was under arrest, and McCarthy repeated again, “Are you kidding me?” and resisted being handcuffed, police said. Inside the unmarked Crown Victoria state police cruiser, Scott found an empty bottle of Miller beer on the back seat floor and two unopened bottles, the report said. A state police commander who met McCarthy at the Saugus police station noticed he showed signs of intoxication, said state police spokesman David Procopio. Scott’s report, while noting a smell of alcohol on McCarthy’s breath, makes no mention of him being asked to take a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test... [Full article here]
POLICE CAPTAIN FACES CHARGES: Mass. state police captain in Saugus chase dodges hearing, arraignment, is suspended without pay
EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA
November 23, 2011
LYNN — A state police captain charged with failing to stop for police trying to pull him over has been suspended without pay but skipped both his court arraignment and a state hearing on his employment status.
A state police spokesman said yesterday that Capt. Thomas McCarthy of Stoneham, evening shift commander for Troop C in Holden, which covers the central part of the state, was arrested Saturday night after Saugus police responded to a house in town.
Authorities say McCarthy, who was off-duty, left the house in an unmarked cruiser and was pulled over several minutes later for a marked lanes violation. McCarthy then allegedly drove away. He stopped again later. State police said they're investigating whether he was intoxicated, although he was never forced to take a Breathalyzer test.
McCarthy didn't attend a Tuesday arraignment in Lynn District Court, which was reset to Dec. 22. His attorney declined comment on McCarthy's case or whereabouts, but said he'll appear for the new date. The Boston Herald and Globe both report that the judge was told during yesterday's arraignment that McCarthy is in a rehabilitation center in Florida.
McCarthy also skipped a state police hearing where he was suspended without pay yesterday.
According to a statement issued yesterday by State Police spokesman David Procopio, Saugus officers first encountered McCarthy when they responded to an alarm sounding at a local home.
"Upon arrival they observed the woman who lives at the home in the garage, and McCarthy, who was off-duty, sitting in his unmarked cruiser," Procopio said. "McCarthy then drove away. A few minutes later, a Saugus officer saw the same vehicle commit a marked lanes violation on Central Street, near the intersection with Main Street. The Saugus officer activated his lights and stopped the black Ford Crown Victoria.
"The officer approached the Crown Victoria and observed that it was driven by the same man who had driven away from the home where the alarm had been sounding. The officer asked the operator to shut off the ignition and exit the vehicle, at which point the driver - later identified as McCarthy - refused to do so and drove away.
"The Saugus officer, eventually joined by two other Saugus cruisers, all with blue lights activated, followed McCarthy onto the Main Street overpass and down onto Route 1 southbound. McCarthy ultimately pulled over in the parking lot outside the Sears Automotive Center at the Square One Mall.
"Saugus officers placed McCarthy under arrest for failure to stop for police and failure to stay right of center. He was transported to the Saugus Police station to be booked. State Police immediately dispatched a Troop A patrol supervisor to the site of the arrest to take possession of the cruiser and McCarthy's firearm, which was in the cruiser. A State Police commander also responded to the Saugus police station that night and immediately placed McCarthy on administrative leave pending his duty status hearing. That commander, upon speaking to McCarthy, observed in him signs of intoxication."
Procopio said the State Police Internal Affairs Section has begun an internal investigation into McCarthy's conduct "to determine what transgressions of departmental policies, rules, and regulations occurred. The question of whether he was intoxicated, as well as his use of a cruiser while off-duty and other alleged transgressions, will be part of that investigation. Internal Affairs will also monitor the criminal proceedings against McCarthy in Essex County."
He added, "The allegations, if proven to be true, are a serious breach of the conduct and behavior expected of a Massachusetts State trooper and do not represent the ideals and values of the vast majority of department members."
The Herald also reported that an empty bottle of Miller beer and two unopened bottles were found on the back seat floor of McCarthy's vehicle. [LINK]
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