Police: Portsmouth woman charged with DUI had kids in car

Posted 5/28/24

PORTSMOUTH — A 44-year-old Portsmouth woman who was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) on Saturday had children ages 6 and 9 as passengers, according to police.

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Police: Portsmouth woman charged with DUI had kids in car


PORTSMOUTH — A 44-year-old Portsmouth woman who was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) on Saturday had children ages 6 and 9 as passengers, according to police.

Shortly after 6 p.m. on May 25, officers were responding to an emergency call for service in the area of Burma Road, with the cruiser’s emergency lights and sirens activated, police said.

On their way to the scene, officers observed a silver Honda Odyssey traveling ahead of them southbound in the same direction, according to police.

“The vehicle did not slow down and did not pull over to the right portion of the roadway,” police stated in a press release issued Tuesday. “The officers made attempts to get the attention of the driver by changing the siren tones emanating from their cruiser. The driver still did not pull over and continued operating at the same speed.”

After about three-quarters of a mile, the driver finally pulled over and was identified as Heather Joseph, 44, of 464 Warley St., Portsmouth. She exhibited multiple signs of alcohol impairment, and had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, according to police.

“The vehicle had three passengers including one adult and two minor children, ages 6 and 9,” police stated.

Joseph was placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI following a series of standardized field sobriety testing, police said. 

She was charged with DUI while carrying a child under 13 as a passenger, her first offense. Joseph was also cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test, failure to yield to emergency vehicles, and failure to yield a right of way.

She will be formally arraigned at 2nd Division District Court in Newport on June 6, police said.

Here are some other recent arrests made by the Portsmouth Police Department:

Monday, May 20

Joshua D. Sawtelle, 35, of 201 Pitman St., Providence, was charged with violating a no-contact order. Officers responded to Fieldstones Grille, 980 East Main Road, at about 11:40 a.m. after Sawtelle requested a well-being check for himself, police said. When officers arrived, Sawtelle explained he had just left his girlfriend’s residence after having spent the night with her, police said. Officers had previous knowledge of a no-contact order between Sawtelle and the 39-year-old Portsmouth woman, who later confirmed Sawtelle had been at her home overnight before leaving at about 10:30 that morning, police said. Sawtelle was placed in custody and was transported to Newport Hospital for an evaluation, according to police.

Tuesday, May 21

Maura J. Morenzi, 59, of 19 Fesser Ave., Bristol, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), first offense. Officers were dispatched to the area of West Main Road and Freeborn Street around 8:15 p.m. after getting a report of a female driver dozing off at the wheel and swerving out of its lane of travel, police said. Officers themselves observed the vehicle nearly drive off the roadway, according to police. Morenzi was also cited for refusing to submit to a chemical test.

Wednesday, May 22

Michael Christopher Russell, 32, of 8 Swanswood Lane, Old Lyme, Conn., was charged with disorderly conduct. The arrest took place after officers responded to 110 Linden Lane (Gardner Seveney Sports Complex at Glen Farm) at about 6:15 p.m. to investigate a report of a verbal altercation, police said. 

Thursday, May 23

Cole Janszynski, 19, of 90 Emmanuel Drive, was arrested at home around 4:50 p.m. on a search warrant as a result of an investigation by the Middletown Police Department, police said. The search resulted in the seizure, police said, of Psilocybin mushrooms from the home. Janszynski was charged with the manufacturing/delivery/possession of a controlled substance with intent, his first offense; as well as controlled substance conspiracy; and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to police.

Friday, May 24

Tylor J. Gomes, 36, of 89 Heritage Drive, was charged with operating under a foreign license during a suspension or revocation. Gomes was pulled over on East Main Road at Sprague Street shortly after noon because his exhaust system was excessively loud, according to police. 

Megan Platt Star, 58, of 53 Attleboro Ave., was arrested on a warrant charging her with injury to boundary or line markers at about 1:30 p.m., police said.

John Ogarro, 46, of 390 Sprague St., Fall River, was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. on a bench warrant that had been issued by 2nd District Court. The arrest was made after officers stopped Ogarro’s vehicle for a roadway violation on West Main Road at Turkey Hill, police said.

Sunday, May 26

Licheva Castro, 34, of 50 Heath St., third floor, Providence, was charged with driving without an active license, her fourth and subsequent offense, police said. Castro was pulled over for speeding at West Main Pizza on West Main Road at about 6:40 p.m.

Monday, May 27

Angel Manuel Pizarro, 42,  of 533 North Main Street, Apt. 2W, Fall River, was arrested on a 6th District Court bench warrant at about 1:30 p.m. Pizarro was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over on Route 24 because a rear taillight was not working, police said.

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