Texting Firefighter Charged With DWI

According to South Kingstown police, Sean Newton, 23, was in his uniform and told officers he was texting when he hit a sign on Route 1.

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

Sean P. Newton, 23, of 80 Brookwood Road, Wakefield, was arrested at about 7:10 p.m. on March 16 and charged with drunken driving and cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test. Police and Newton said he works for the Woonsocket Fire Department.

According to police, they received multiple 911 calls about a car – driven by Newton – striking a guardrail on Route 1 near Spartina Cove. Police said the car then drove and parked at New Life Assembly Church.

Police said that as they approached the car, Newton started the engine. As a result, police said patrolman David Marler drew his gun, and ordered Newton to turn the car off and to throw the keys out the window.

According to police, Newton complied with the orders. Police noted that the headlight, fender and hood of Newton’s car had fresh damage, and that he was wearing a Woonsocket fire department uniform.

Police said that when asked about the accident, Newton told them he hadn’t called police because the damage wasn’t that bad, and that he had just hit a sign because he was texting.

Netwon allegedly told police that there was a hazmat situation in Woonsocket that he was on his way to respond to, and that he was texting with a co-worker to see if the co-worker had also been called in.

According to police, Newton smelled strongly of alcohol, and refused to submit to any field sobriety tests. As a result, he was arrested and charged with drunken driving.

Police said that during processing and at headquarters, Newton would not answer any questions about his alcohol consumption, except that it had stopped at 11 a.m.

According to police, a 62-year-old Narragansett man said that while he did not see Newton’s car strike the median, he believed that is what occurred. The man told police that Newton sped past him with emergency lights on, and attempted to drive twice following the accident before pulling into the church’s parking lot.

Police said Newton was processed and then released at about 8:30 p.m. Arraignment is scheduled for March 28 at Fourth Division District Court in Wakefield.

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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