Who is the more likely culprit in a hit and run crash — a mechanic with no last name, phone number or address, or the owner of the SUV involved sporting an injury the day of the incident?
Woonsocket Police Detectives went with the latter scenario, arresting Shawn Michael Delaurier, 27, of 53 Burnside Ave., apt. #2 Oct. 11 at 7:55 a.m. Police charged him with driving without a license and leaving the scene of an accident Aug. 14.
Delaurier had denied he was driving the silver Dodge Durango that sideswiped another, newer-model Dodge Durango 2:45 p.m. Aug. 14, telling police that he had given the vehicle to a mechanic, "Miguel" for repairs that day.
On Aug. 14, officers were called to the intersection of Wood Ave. and Robinson Street for a report of a Silver Dodge Durango leaving the scene of a an accident.
At the scene, officers met with Tyrone Stokley, whose Dodge Durango had been pushed sideways up onto the sidewalk, with heavy damage to the drivers side wheel well and bumper. Stokley was also complaining of minor back pain. An ambulance was called to take him to Landmark Medical Center.
Stokley described the driver of the car that hit him as a white male with short hair, about 20 years old. He said the driver of the other vehicle had approached from Robinson Street and failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Robinson and Wood Street as Stokley drove toward Diamond Hill Road. The other Durango collided with his SUV, pushing it to the sidewalk. Stokley said the driver left the scene without stopping to check on him.
Officers located the wayward Durango at Delaurier's home, and spoke with him about the crash. Delaurier, whose license to drive has been suspended, said he had not been driving the car, but had given it to a mechanic, "Miguel" for repairs that day. The officer speaking to Delaurier noted he had an abrasion on his right shoulder which Delaurier could not explain.
Police took a photo of Delaurier, but Stokley wasn't able to positively identify him as the driver.
On Aug. 15, Detective Sgt. George McMann and another detective interviewed Delaurier about the crash again. Delaurier repeated his claim that "Miguel" had taken the car at the time of the crash for repairs, including new ball joints, for $40. He could not provide an address or phone number for "Miguel", or explain why the mechanic was charging him $40 for repairs that would cost hundreds of dollars.
Delaurier also failed to explain the injury to his shoulder the day of the accident.
When the detectives pointed out the inconsistencies of his statements and his lack of alibi, Delaurier ended the interview, claiming "Miguel" had driven the vehicle back to his home after the crash to set him up.
A warrant was issued for Delaurier's arrest shortly after the interview.