Haverhill Patrolman On Leave Following Accident and Arrest on Drunk Driving Charge

(WHAV News file photograph.)

A veteran Haverhill police officer was charged with drunk driving following a collision with a parked car last night in downtown Haverhill.

Police said in a statement Patrolman Carlos Arriaga, who was off-duty, was involved in the accident just before 8 p.m., Sunday, near 216 Essex St. He was driving a 2017 Mercedes GLE 350 when his SUV struck a parked, but occupied, 2022 Honda CRV, resulting in, what were deemed, “minor injuries” to both drivers and damage to both vehicles.

Police said Arriaga was placed on administrative leave, a common practice pending court action and internal disciplinary review.

Arriaga was arrested in August 2019 on domestic violence charges of assault and battery on a family/household member and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. While criminal charges were eventually dropped, he was disciplined by the city in May of 2020 for sending “harassing and vulgar” texts and visiting the woman after having been ordered twice to have no contact. He was suspended 45 days by Mayor James J. Fiorentini and ordered to provide 20 days of punishment duty, meaning he worked those days without pay.

In a statement at the time, Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro told WHAV, “The discipline given is dramatically different than my recommendation to the mayor. I am in complete disagreement with the way this entire process has been handled. I understand and acknowledge the mayor’s authority to determine the level of punishment. However, there are certain instances where discipline severity is non-negotiable. Based upon my knowledge and experience this is one of those situations.”

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