LEOMINSTER – On Thursday, June 29 at 10:32 a.m., Officers Dennis Hatstat and Jonathan Benoit of the Leominster Police Department were dispatched to Rebel Gas Station at 700 Central Street following a report of a man “nodding off” in a blue Chevrolet Cruz.
“Rebel Gas Station was open for business. I observed several other vehicles, licensees, and invitees conducting business upon my arrival,” wrote Officer Hatstat in his Narrative for the incident. “As I exited my cruiser, a clerk who identified herself as [name redacted] was outside in a yellow traffic vest. [The clerk] immediately directed my attention to the vehicle that I pulled my cruiser behind.”
Officer Hatstat peered into the vehicle, where he observed its sole occupant passed out in the driver’s seat. He then put on nitrile gloves for protection and knocked on the driver’s side window.
“The occupant seated in the driver’s seat began to wake up and placed the vehicle in drive using the gear select shifted located in the area of the center console,” wrote Officer Hatstat in his Narrative. “Officer [Carlos] Cintron, who arrived on scene to assist, immediately pulled his unmarked cruiser in front of the vehicle.”
When the operator of the vehicle put it in drive, Officer Hatstat hit the window with his hand and told the man to exit. The man put the car in park and then began “shuffling” the contents in the center console around until Officer Hatstat told him to stop, at which point he complied with the officer’s orders and exited the car.
“Based on my training and experience, people sometimes attempt to access a weapon and/or conceal contraband prior to exiting a vehicle,” Officer Hatstat explained in his Narrative. Adding, “As the operator exited the vehicle, I observe a cylinder-like glass tube with packaging fall onto the ground. The glass tube appeared to have been on his lap while seated in the vehicle. As the glass pipe fell to the ground, the operator stated. ‘That’s a crack pipe.’ I advised the operator that I was aware. Please note, based on my training and experience, cylinder-like glass tubes with chore boy copper scrubber, and sometimes cotton, are used to filter and smoke crack cocaine.”
Officer Hatstat asked the man for his identification, which he said was in the vehicle. He was then pat frisked by the other responding officers while Officer Hatstat retrieved his ID, a Massachusetts license which indicated that his name was Tyler Keough. Keough, 29, is a single, unemployed resident of Ridgewood Lane in Gardner.
“At this point, I asked Tyler if he had taken any drugs this morning,” wrote Officer Hatstat in his Narrative. “Tyler stated, ‘Yes I have.’ Tyler informed me he took a ‘hit of crack earlier.’ Tyler also informed me that he had been awake for some time and was tired.”
Leominster Fire and paramedics arrived on scene to evaluate Keough, who declined medical transportation by signing a waiver with the paramedics. He also denied that he was overdosing.
Officer Hatstat said that even though Keough declined medical attention, his pupils were constricted, his speech delayed, and he appeared to be lethargic.
“After Tyler declined medical treatment and denied that he was overdosing, I offered to have him try a series of roadside assessments,” wrote Officer Hatstat in his Narrative. “I advised Tyler that some of the assessments involved the use of his legs. Tyler informed me that he may have chipped a bone in his left leg. Tyler pulled his pant leg up. I observed some swelling approximately 4” above the ankle. I subsequently advised Tyler that I formed the opinion that he was operating while under the influence of drugs. Tyler informed me that he wanted to try the roadside assessments at this point. I denied his request.”
Keough was arrested and transported to the Leominster Police Department by Officer Benoit for booking.
Officer Hatstat then inventoried Keough’s vehicle, where he located a clear plastic baggie in the center console with a white powdery substance inside, which was later determined to be cocaine. Paraphernalia was also found in the vehicle. In the center console were portions of Chore Boy scrubber pads and a thin metal rod (that Officer Hatstat believed was used to pack crack into the glass pipe) was on the passenger side floorboard.
While waiting for a tow for the vehicle, Officer Hatstat requested a detective to conduct a field test for the white powdery substance. Detective Jonathan Monahan arrived on scene and determined that the substance was in fact, cocaine.
After securing the evidence, Officer Hatstat spoke with the store clerk who reported the incident.
“[The clerk] informed me that Tyler had been sleeping at the gas pumps for approximately 30 minutes. [The clerk] informed me that several customers entered the store during that duration and expressed their concerns which prompted her to call police,” said Officer Hatstat in his Narrative.
After returning to the station, Officer Hatstat said he had the white powdery substance that was “believed to be cocaine” sent to the laboratory for further testing.
Keough was charged with OUI drugs, Possession of a Class B Substance, and Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle.
His bail was set at $40.
He was arraigned in Leominster District Court on June 30.
He appeared in court on Aug. 2 for a pretrial hearing.
Disclaimer: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from March (you’re an a$$hole that doesn’t understand my business model, just kidding🃏), that’s because I had to file FOIA request(s) to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.