No-Seatbelt Stop Results in Two Arrests
Johnston Police charged Myles Manzi, 19, with drug and weapons possession, and arrested Anthony Taylor, 20, on an active court warrant.
A local resident faces drug and weapons possession charges after Johnston Police report they stopped his vehicle because his passenger, who had an active court warrant for his arrest, was not wearing his seatbelt.
Myles Manzi, 19, of 54 Lyman Ave., is scheduled to appear in Third District Court on July 11 on misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession; driving in possession of drugs; and possession of weapons, in this case, steak knives with blades longer than 3 in.
Manzi is also scheduled for a July 20 trial on charges of vandalism and throwing objects at cars brought by Rhode Island State Police following his arrest in Johnston on May 14.
Ptlm. Mark Bairos reported that he was at a fixed post at the end of Craigie Avenue on June 28 at about 4:30 pm when a white Hyundai drove past him and he saw "the front passenger not wearing a seatbelt."
After directing Manzi to pull over, Bairos said he checked Manzi's license and that of his passenger, identified as Anthony Taylor, 20, of 45 George Waterman Rd.
The check of Taylor's record returned an active warrant issued by Third District Court for failure to appear for arraignment on a charge of driving with a suspended license brought by West Warwick Police.
As he directed Taylor from the car, Bairos said he smelled "a strong odor of unburned marijuana" inside, and searched the car.
Bairos wrote that he found a clear plastic bag containing what appeared to be cannabis in the center console.
After three other officers arrived to assist, Bairos reported they located another bag holding suspected marijuana in the driver's side door and two steak knives with blades longer than 3 in.
Both men denied that the drugs were theirs, Bairos wrote in his report.
While officers continued their investigation, Bairos reported, Manzi's parents, Paul and Cheryl, arrived at the scene.
"Cheryl immediately began to walk hastily toward Myles while shouting 'Don't [expletive] tell them anything,'" Bairos wrote.
When Cheryl Manzi attempted to walk to the cruiser where officers were directing her son, Bairos reported that he "placed [his] arm in front of her path," to which Cheryl Manzi responded: "Don't you touch me. I'm going straight to the station to talk to your Captain."
Cheryl Manzi "finally complied" after repeated warnings from officers and "some coaxing by her husband," Bairos wrote, adding that Myles Manzi's girlfriend — who was not identified because she is a minor — tried to walk to the cruiser "and then back up several continuous times."
Once Bairos escorted the girlfriend to the sidewalk, he reported, "she immediately ceased interfering."
At police headquarters, officers confirmed that the substance found in Manzi's car was marijuana, totalling 3.6 grams, and took possession of the steak knives.
Police issued Manzi citations for operating a vehicle without insurance and allowing a passenger to ride without a seatbelt, and presented him for arraignment before Justice of the Peace Richard Raspallo on the criminal charges.
Raspallo ordered Manzi released on $3,000 personal recognizance until the July 11 court date.
Officers also transported Taylor to the Adult Correctional Institutions, Cranston, where he was held until his arraignment on July 2 in Third District Court.
Taylor pleaded no contest to the West Warwick Police charge, and Judge Pamela Woodcock-Pfeiffer ordered him to pay fines and court costs totalling $467.
In March, Taylor pleaded no contest to another charge of driving with a suspended license brought by Johnston Police. In that case, Judge Frank Cenerini ordered Taylor to pay fines and court costs totalling $352.