Police Log: Drag Racers Hit House, Each Other, Flee Unmarked Cruiser
The following arrest information was supplied by the Woonsocket Police Department. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.
Pedro Garcia of 193 Arnold St. and Jonathan Valentin of 42 Parker St., apt. 3FRN had themselves a drag race on Arnold Street, a busy and narrow road, at 2 p.m. Oct. 21, with Valentin's 7-year-old child riding shotgun with him.
The drag race would've been foolish even without the presence of an unmarked police cruiser. But Det. Thomas Gormley was patrolling the area, saw Garcia's black Mazda and Valentin's red Toyota, stopped side by side in the middle of the street, begin to spin their wheels, creating smoke.
The cars took off and accelerated quickly to about 60 mph, and Gormley pursued them with emergency lights flashing as they traveled toward Sayles Street.
At that intersection, both vehicles decelerated for a right turn without using signals. Garcia's Mazda struck the corner house at 48 Arnold St., and also struck the Toyota on the right side as they made the turn.
Gormley was able to gain ground after the collision as the two cars continued traveling on Sayles Street. Both vehicles stopped, but Garcia drove away again. Valentin was arrested, and Gormley discovered his 7-year-old child, unharmed, in the front passenger's seat.
Gormley called Garcia's license plate in to the dispatcher and another officer caught up with him at his Arnold Street address.
Both men were taken to Woonsocket Police Headquarters on Clinton St.
Valentin was charged with reckless driving, failure to use a turn signal, care from a stop and speeding.
Garcia was charged with driving without a liscense, reckless driving, and eluding an officer. He was also issued a summons for driving without insurance, not using a turn signal, speeding, care from a stop, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to maintain control.