Rhode Island State Police

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island State Police trooper Roupen Bastajian had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off. He was one of many who rushed into the chaos to help the injured. He talks with Rhode Island Public Radio's Catherine Welch about that day and how it's changed him a year later.

Last year’s marathon was the 117th and 117 is Bastajian’s  badge number. It was a beautiful day, other state troopers were also running the marathon and he did it, he crossed the finish line. Minutes later, as he was on his way to the medical tent, the first bomb exploded.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung announced Thursday that the investigation into a police parking ticket scandal has been concluded. State police confirm a Cranston police captain violated police regulations.

Fung took the podium at a press conference to break the news: “Today we are announcing the

recommendation, and that is the recommendation of termination for Cranston police captain Stephen Antonucci.”

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Police have responded to calls by two Cranston city councilors to investigate a ticketing blitz that took place in November.

Mayor Allan Fung announced the State police's participation at a press conference Thursday.

The two city councilors, Paul Archetto and Steven Stycos, say their wards were unfairly targeted with parking tickets because they voted against a proposed police contract earlier in the year.

Some 130 tickets were issued in their wards; only nine tickets were issued in the rest of the city during the same time period.

file / RIPR

The Rhode Island State Police have beefed up patrols, cracking down on drunken drivers. State police are also pulling over drivers for texting and driving and not wearing a seat belt.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A four-month long investigation has resulted in the arrests of nearly three dozen accused drug dealers. The investigation targeted narcotics activity in Central Falls.

Starting in June Central Falls police noticed an uptick in shootings. They suspected it was drug related so they called in the state police to help them out.  The result was the arrests of 35 individuals over a four month period and the seizure of a sizable collection of illegal drugs, said Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Steven O’Donnell.

State Police To Be Outfitted With Tasers

Oct 14, 2013

Rhode Island state police have a new weapon in their war on crime.

Rhode Island state police have purchased Tasers for all troopers and are training them in their proper use. 

State police commander Colonel Steven O’Donnell said the aim is to prevent the use of firearms where possible.

"The feedback is great. It’s another tool to protect them and to protect other people. And they’re a great tool on the street. People know what a taser does so when you deploy a taser you get a lot more compliance instead of just verbal commands," said O'Donnell.

John Bender / RIPR

Several weeks ago, a  shooter opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C.  It turns out the suspected shooter Aaron Alexis was in Newport prior to the shooting.  During his stay Newport police were called to his hotel room, and he reported hearing voices.  The encounter, combined with others, has spurred debate about whether authorities should have seen red flags and done more.

RI State Police Crack Down on Underage Drinking

Sep 19, 2013
Flo Jonic / RIPR

State police are going all out this year to combat underage drinking. A task force has been monitoring places where underage drinking has historically been a problem.

State police Colonel Steven O’Donnell said a task force comprised of state, municipal and campus police has been formed to address the problem of underage drinking.   Since the beginning of September

they’ve investigated 30 nightclubs and several house parties near college campuses. Twenty-six people were summoned to appear in court on charges of alcohol possession by an underage person.

RI State Police Round Up Nets 30 Fugitives

Sep 5, 2013

Rhode Island State Police and other law enforcement agencies have rounded up 30 wanted fugitives in an early morning warrant sweep throughout the state.

Most of them were wanted for failing to appear in Family Court or failure to pay child support. Collectively, those arrested owe close to $370,000 in child support payments. One person arrested owed nearly $38,000.

State police Colonel Steven O’Donnell praised the officers involved in the arrests, saying, “it is unfortunate that this was necessary to ensure that they meet the obligations they have to their families.”

Video: Father and Son Rescued in RI Swamp

Aug 5, 2013
US Coast Guard

The search is over for a father and son who went missing overnight during a rafting trip. Darin Pierce and his 12-year-old son, Logan, of South Kingston have been found safe.

The two were on a rafting trip Sunday on the Chipuxet River in South County. Pierce’s wife called police after she hadn’t heard from them in almost five hours.

The Amber alert issued by Rhode Island State Police for missing Portsmouth teen Kathryn Botelho has been canceled.  She was reported missing by her mother, and found later Wednesday night.  Police have not released details as to what may have happened.

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Thirteen year old Kathryn Botelho was last seen leaving her house with a man not known to her family.   Police have issued an amber alert for a 1990’s four-door red Chrysler, possibly a Sebring or Concorde. It may have a New Jersey license plate.

State police report an East Greenwich police officer has been arrested on charges of using excessive force on a man who was in custody.

State police said East Greenwich police Lt. Paul Nahrgang had a confrontation with a prisoner, then lunged at him and grabbed him around the neck. Nahrgang alerted East Greenwich police Chief Thomas Coyle about the incident. Coyle viewed the incident on surveillance tape and then alerted state police.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

A Rhode Island state trooper who went to the aid of victims of the Boston Marathon bombings is speaking out publicly about his experience for the first time.  The trooper rejects any suggestion that he’s a hero.

Trooper Roupen Bastajian has participated in five marathons. But the April 15th Boston Marathon was the first one he completed running all the way. He decided to compete because it was the 117th running of the Boston Marathon and 117 is his badge number.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

As the Rhode Island State Police took a moment to remember those who died in the line of duty, they also paused to honor trooper Roupen Bastajian who rushed to help survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Every year, Rhode Island state police gather to remember the seven troopers killed in the line of duty since the agency was founded in 1925.  But this year, a trooper who’s very much alive was honored as well. Trooper Roupen Bastajian received the State Police service ribbon for aide he rendered at the Boston Marathon bombings.

Boston Athletic Association

Reports are coming in from Rhode Islanders who experienced the incident firsthand.  One North Kingstown runner finished the race moments before the explosions.  Frank Coseglia said he was a block and a half away when it happened, and wasn’t sure what was going on. 

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