Haverhill Man Allegedly Tells Police to ‘Just Arrest Me’ After Hitting Cruiser During OUI Stop

(Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

A Marshland Street man has lost his license for at least 180 days after allegedly hitting a marked Haverhill Police cruiser, resulting in his second drunken driving arrest, WHAV has confirmed.

William Hale was taken into custody Monday, July 15 just before 8 p.m. by Officer Kevin Portnoy while Portnoy was on patrol near Broadway and Lowell Avenue in Haverhill. Behind the wheel of a white Ford pickup truck, Hale attempted to make an illegal left turn onto Broadway from Lowell Avenue where there is a clearly posted “right turn only” sign.

According to Portnoy, Hale continued to drive around Portnoy’s cruiser as Portnoy attempted to make the left turn along with him. In the process of turning, Hale struck Portnoy’s rear driver’s side bumper. Once pulled over, Hale provided his license and registration to Portnoy, who reported him to have glassy eyes, slurred speech and smell strongly of alcohol. Hale denied he had been drinking. Neither man was hurt during the accident.

During field sobriety testing, Hale was “unsteady on his feet” and could not complete the required tasks. “If you’re going to arrest me, just do it,” Portnoy recalled him saying.

Despite Hale’s initial denial that he had been drinking, he later told Portnoy he was on his way to spend the night at a hotel after having drinks at a restaurant in Westgate Plaza.

Booked at the Bailey Boulevard Police station, Hale refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, and automatically lost his license for at least 180 days. He was arraigned this week in Haverhill District Court on one count of operating under the influence of liquor—his second offense—and one count of making an improper turn. Judge Patricia Dowling released him ahead of his next court appearance in mid-August.

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