Rhode Island State Police

RI News
1:46 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

RI State Police: DUI Arrests Up In 2013

Rhode Island State Police said there have been more than 500 DUI arrests in 2013. That's up from 2012, and doesn't count the busy New Year holiday.
Credit 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.

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RI News
1:44 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Central Falls Police: Drug Sweep Has Reduced Violence In The City

Rhode Island State Police Steven O'Donnell along with Central Falls Police Chief James Mendonca and Mayor James Diossa announce the results of a recent drug bust.
Credit 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.

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RI News
8:54 am
Mon October 14, 2013

State Police To Be Outfitted With Tasers

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.

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RI News
9:20 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Lt. Col. Winquist: How RI Police Face Down Mental Illness

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Winquist of the Rhode Island State Police.
Credit 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.

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RI News
2:48 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

RI State Police Crack Down on Underage Drinking

Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell at a press conference announcing a crackdown on underage drinking.
Credit 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.

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12:47 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

RI State Police Round Up Nets 30 Fugitives

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.”

RI News
1:01 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Video: Father and Son Rescued in RI Swamp

A Coast Guard helicopter crew assists in the rescue of a father and son who went missing on a rafting trip.
Credit 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.

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RI News
3:50 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Amber Alert for Missing Portsmouth, RI Teen Cancelled

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.


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.

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RI News
12:08 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

East Greenwich Officer Charged With Assault on Man in Custody

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.

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Boston Marathon Explosions
3:08 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

RI Trooper Who Aided Bombing Victims: I'm No Hero

State Trooper Roupen Bastijian finished the Boston Marathon just minutes before the first bomb went off.
Credit 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.

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