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Former Hopkinton Officer Charged With Drunken Driving

A former Hopkinton police officer allegedly involved in a standoff in Cranston in July has now been charged with drunken driving in South Kingstown.

Unless otherwise noted, information about the following incidents was supplied by the South Kingstown Police Department. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.

John Patton, 45, of 91 Wylie School Road, Voluntown, CT, was arrested at about 7:09 p.m. on Sept. 30 and charged with drunken driving and reckless driving, and cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test. Police said Patton is an officer in the Hopkinton Police Department, although according to media reports in The Westerly Sun, Patton is now retired from the department.

According to police, a witness observed Patton’s driving and provided them with a statement. The witness said that at about 6 p.m., they were traveling home on Route 138 in Richmond, at which point Patton was seen in his pickup truck behind them, driving erratically, tailgating and speeding.

Police said that they were on the phone with the witness while she followed Patton’s truck. The witness said that at the light for the intersection of Route 138 and Route 2, Patton stopped at the green light for 10 to 15 seconds, and then drove through the intersection when the light was red.

The witness said that at this point, the truck was driving only 10 to 15 miles per hour as they passed West Kingston Park. The witness eventually lost track of the truck, after they passed it near Shickasheen Farm, when it was attempting to go through a chain-link fence.

According to police, an officer finally located Patton’s truck on Usquepaugh Road a short time later. Police noted that the truck was on the side of the road, in park, but still running, with Patton asleep at the wheel.

Police said that when speaking to Patton, he told them, “I’m on the job, too.” When asked about the smell of alcohol and for his police credentials, he allegedly told police, “I’m ****ed up, I’m sorry. Yeah, I’ve been drinking.”

According to police, Patton appeared to pass out several times while an officer attempted to question him. Police also noted a bottle of Smirnoff vodka on the seat next to him.

Police said that another officer arrived on scene, and immediately recognized Patton from past professional contacts. Police asked him to submit to a field sobriety test, which he refused to do, at which point he was arrested.

According to police, Patton had to be helped while he was walking because of his level of intoxication. He was transported to police headquarters, where he allegedly refused to submit to a chemical test.

Police noted that a background check of Patton revealed that his arrest could be a probation violation of a Cranston police felony charge. As a result, the attorney general’s office was called, and a lawyer from the office told police to hold Patton for arraignment the morning of Oct. 1.

On July 5, Patton was involved in an armed standoff with Cranston police, according to an article by Mark Schieldrop of Cranston Patch.

According to The Westerly Sun, Patton had his first court appearance on Sept. 11.  He was suspended without pay after his arrest in Cranston.

Additional court hearings for the felony charge have yet to be set. A status conference for Patton’s South Kingstown drunken driving arrest was scheduled for Oct. 3. A pre-trial conference for an additional Cranston police charge of falsely reporting a crime is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Unless otherwise noted, the information for this article was compiled from South Kingstown police reports, which are available for review by any member of the public at their headquarters. If we’re missing a call or report you’re interested in knowing about, feel free to leave a comment or to send Local Editor Stephen Greenwell a message at Stephen.greenwell@patch.com.

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Stephen Greenwell October 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Update to this story and headline - According to an article in Wednesday's Westerly Sun, Hopkinton's police chief confirmed that Patton has retired from the department. We will update the headline and what not as a result: http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/former-hopkinton-police-sargeant-is-charged-with-dui/article_0f374346-0d62-11e2-9818-001a4bcf887a.html
Stephen Greenwell October 08, 2012 at 02:39 AM
The Westerly Sun has done an additional update on this story: http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/after-second-arrest-police-retiree-going-into-treatment/article_72b5a2d4-0efa-11e2-b547-001a4bcf887a.html

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