Made to stop at crash scene, driver accused of punching, biting officer

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 5/18/17

WESTPORT — Perturbed that he had to wait while an accident was cleared, a Westport man is accused of punching and then biting an officer who told him to get back into his car.

The officer, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Made to stop at crash scene, driver accused of punching, biting officer

Posted

WESTPORT — Perturbed that he had to wait while an accident was cleared, a Westport man is accused of punching and then biting an officer who told him to get back into his car.

The officer, Westport Sergeant Chris Mello suffered a blow to the head and bite puncture to the hand. His alleged assailant, Jeremy Rioux, 21, of 17 President St., Westport was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Detective Jeff Majewski said the trouble began at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17 as several officers were directing traffic on Route 88 southbound near the intersection of Briggs Road due to a motor vehicle crash. The road was temporarily closed while tow trucks were removing the damaged vehicle.

“One stopped motorist exited his vehicle and approached one of the police officers on foot.” That driver, Mr. Rioux, “became irate that he could not pass through the area,” Det. Majewski said.

Officer Nick Frustaci instructed him to return to his vehicle when, police said, Mr. Rioux “yelled profanities and displayed a fighting position against the officer.”

A second officer, Sgt. Mello, “approached and attempted to de-escalate Mr. Rioux’s behavior and demanded that he immediately get back in his vehicle and off the road, the detective said. “Mr. Rioux then punched Sgt. Mello with his closed fist and struck him on the side of his face and jaw.”

Police said that the officers grabbed the man and restrained him as he continued fighting.

Two other officers assisted in handcuffing tMr. Rioux who “resorted to biting Sgt. Mello on his hand which punctured the skin and caused a laceration.” He was eventually restrained and taken to the ground where he was handcuffed.

Det. Majewski add that, during the booking process at the police station, Mr. Rioux said, “s… happens”.

Officer Mellowas treated at a nearby hospital and released.

“Route 88 is mostly an un-lit highway with traffic that may reach high speeds,” Det. Majewski said. “Mr. Rioux made a potentially dangerous situation worse by exiting his car. Officers diverted their attention away from scene safety to deal with his behavior which ultimately placed others in harms way.”

Mr. Rioux was arraigned Thursday at the Fall River Justice Center.

2022 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Media Group team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaymediagroup.com.