DA: After hitting pedestrian, driver stopped briefly to check his car for damage

A retired Cambridge cop can continue to drive while awaiting trial on charges he sent a man into the hospital in critical condition yesterday by plowing into him with his car in front of the Massachusetts Avenue T stop.

At Lawrence Stead's arraignment in Boston Municipal Court today, Judge Sally Kelly declined a request from Suffolk County prosecutors to bar the Quincy resident from driving while his case is pending. Kelly also declined a request from prosecutors to set bail at $10,000, instead letting Stead stay free on the $1,100 he paid a bail bondsman last night.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office provided this account of the 6 a.m. crash:

Witnesses told police that the victim was struck by a gray Mercury that did not immediately stop. The vehicle finally stopped approximately 75 feet from the scene, where witnesses said the driver inspected the vehicle before driving off. The witnesses were able to provide police with the car’s license plate number.

According to the DA's office, police tracked the car's registration to Stead's address in Quincy:

Quincy Police officers arrived at Stead’s address to confirm that the vehicle was there and were approached by Stead. Later, during an interview with Boston police, Stead made post-Miranda statements indicating he believed he had hit something while driving on Massachusetts Avenue. He allegedly said he pulled over and checked his car and its surroundings, but did not notice damage to his vehicle or see what it was that he struck.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Thanks MBTA and BPD!

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If it weren't for your coddling of drivers who run down and kill people, then pretend they didn't notice that they did so, this asshole wouldn't have such a strong case to pretend that he had no idea, either!

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You Do Realize

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that BPD arrested this guy, right?

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Wow

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Just,wow.

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Electronic

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Everytime someone on here states that drivers are allowed to get away with just about anything in this state need go no further than here next time they are like "Show me the studies"...

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not orientation, nepotism

By on

No judgement whatsoever on her orientation [big GLBT ally here]. Reference was to the fact that her father had major ties to the courts, and she gets a court appointment.

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Your point kind writer?

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Without prejudice (oh, maybe some) I ask what does the judge's wedding have to do with a bail?

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The problem with Howie Carr

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Is that he's right most of the time, when it comes to the Hackerama. Nothing on the level, everything a deal, no deal too small...

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Whoyaknow.. the new speculation game.

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Just a few days ago, a few were wondering if one of the Southie beating purveyors was related to a City Hall poobah.

Now it's a court bureaucrat lifer's daughter.

This could combine social anthropology with corruption queries and the making of comedic masshole whoyaknow venn diagrams.

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Seriously?

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People have their license suspended when they drive into buildings but cause no personal injury. But hit a person in the street and send that person to the hospital with severe injuries...it's cool. Keep on driving, no worries.

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Wow, he learned his lesson,

By on

Wow, he learned his lesson, if you hit someone, drive away, especially if you had something to hide like being drunk, and just pay $1,100 that you will get back after they tell you to try not to do it again.

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I figured drunk too

May have been drunk, but was reportedly headed home after getting off his night shift security job at Wentworth Tech.

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Surprised

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I'm surprised that you are not defending him, MarKKK. Normally you take the driver's side on everything, regardless of circumstances and evidence.

You know, "the driver must have been blinded by the bright T sign" or some hogwash like that.

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No excuse for driving away

without stopping, He heard some sort of "thunk", so should have looked harder for the cause. MBTA bus drivers and truck drivers who don't hear or feel an impact and don't stop are more understandable, but this guy was definitely aware of some sort of impact and could have asked a bystander what he hit.

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Having graduated from

By on

Having graduated from Wentworth, I would like to ask what this security you're talking of is....

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He gets the $1,100 back

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After his trial. If he gets convicted, he gets his punishment. That's how the system works.

Sorry Adam, but from now on I'm going house on anyone who doesn't understand bail.

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And the moral of the story is...

Always leave the immediate vicinity of the accident before stopping to check for damage. He'd probably be scot free right now if he weren't so worried about the damage to his car.

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Change in legislation needed

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If judges can't interpret the law, then we need a change in legislation. Something along the lines of:

"Any motorist leaving the scene of a crash which causes an injury will immediately lose their license, and upon conviction will not be able to resume driving for a period of one year."

Might make people think twice about driving off like this asshat.

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The penalties are already worse than that.

And it happens more than you think, and may have happened in this case. Judges don't ordinarily take people's licenses away, the registry does that at the request of the police department, and the registry usually suspends the license every single time I've ever seen it requested. The person can then appeal to get their license back at a hearing done by the registry.

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I'm talking about the immediate threat complaint.

Which you can do regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. You don't even need a crime actually.

But leaving the scene of a personal injury accident is a max 2 year jail term, $1,000 fine, and loss of license by the courts for 1 year on the first offense, 2 years for the 2nd offense.

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How does that work?

Let's say someone hits me and drives off, and I manage to get his plate number, so I call the police. Is the registry going to suspend his license solely on my say-so?

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It depends on how severe the bad driving is.

And first the police would need to follow up to determine if you had the right person. Then you would need to determine the circumstances of the crash. If a driver hits someone while driving recklessly and takes off, the police can fill out a form, fax It to the RMV and the RMV in my experience will suspend the license within 24 hours.

If,it's just an "accident" with no circumstances that would make you believe that the driver is a threat to others on the road if you let them continue driving, then the RMV would most likely not suspend the license, although I've done it about 20 times and the RMV has suspended it every time. I've actually never heard of the registry not suspend a license when the police requests it.

It is more common with elderly drivers in hit and run type cases, or cases where elderly do unusual things (crash into buildings, parked cars in parking lots with large amounts of damage, driving in places that are dangerous and unusual like sidewalks, etc). Other cases where police would do this is where there are witnesses to serious infractions of driving laws (speeding over 80, going down one way streets on purpose, police chases, road rage incidents with unusual actions like using your vehicle to strike another or drive on a sidewalk to get around traffic, etc, etc.

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RMV suspension process?

Can any duly sworn law enforcement officer just fax a form to the registry and get someone's license suspended without any kind of hearing? I imagine if a rogue officer started making a habit of bogus requests, it would come back to bit him or her pretty hard, but in the meantime, seems like slim protection there. What does the driver need to do to get the suspension lifted?

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Thanks

It's always nice to get the facts from someone with actual experience. I've never heard of it being abused, and I am aware of the whole "driving a car on the public roads is not an inherent right" line of reasoning; it just surprised me that the registry would suspend your license without giving you a chance to contest it before the fact.

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Double standards

Other cases where police would do this is where there are witnesses to serious infractions of driving laws (speeding over 80, going down one way streets on purpose, police chases, road rage incidents with unusual actions like using your vehicle to strike another or drive on a sidewalk to get around traffic, etc, etc.

Pete, If those are considered worthy of license revocation, why do cops ignore bicyclists regularly doing those things and operating at night without lighting? What percentage of the few tickets issued have even been paid? How many dollars would that be all the while the RMV wants to raise RMV fees and inspection fees after throwing away the reserve funds ($50M) to the MBTA?

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Hey Mark

Mark, you seemed so sure this was probably an illegal alien. I'm shocked, shocked!, that you were completely wrong.

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Very common with elderly people.

Hitting things and then pretending nothing happened. I'm not sure if they think I one will catch them, or if they just live in denial because they are so afraid of losing their license.

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It's not just illegal aliens

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It's not just illegal aliens that do hit and runs (Markk), it's not just elderly (Pete)...there is a segment of PEOPLE - old, young, black, white, rich, poor, etc. who try to avoid responsibility for their actions. This guy committed a crime and should be held accountable - not necessarily for hitting someone with his car because it could have been a legitimate accident - but certainly for leaving the scene. We are ALL individuals who make our own decisions and we are not bound by ethnicity or age or immigration status or anything else when it comes to doing the right thing or doing the wrong thing. We are guided by our own sense of morality and ethics - or lack of.

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Rash of broken mirrors on parked cars

Lots of parked cars in Arlington got sideswiped this winter without anyone stopping or leaving a note. A few years ago it happened right in front of me by a driver who broke the side view mirror on a friend's rental car and kept right on going. I got the plate number and reported it to police as a hit and run. Cops spoke to the elderly woman driver who claimed to have no idea that she hit anything and asked if we wanted to pursue things. We declined and I just had a local glass shop replace just the mirror part for $25.

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Yeah, that's completely

Yeah, that's completely relevant (like most of your posts) to a story about a reckless driver who put someone in the hospital.

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