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Richard Dennis Tierney, 85, of Arlington, was arrested Thursday evening, March 7, following a two-car accident at Park Avenue Extension and Lowell Street, in which he allegedly drove through a stop sign and struck another vehicle. He was arrested on suspicion of operating under the influence (liquor, first offense), according to an Arlington Police Department report.

The report says the second vehicle's driver (not identified) told police that she was driving south on Park Avenue Extension with her son and had stopped her car before entering the six-way intersection before proceeding onto Park Avenue. Just after entering the intersection, the first car sped straight through the Lowell Street stop sign and struck her vehicle on the rear passenger side. When both cars then pulled over to the side at the beginning of Park Avenue, one in back of the other, she said the other operator (Tierney) walked up to her car and tried to open the passenger side door. She stated that he looked confused and disoriented. Her son later said that he had exerted pressure to prevent the man from opening the door.

By the time police arrived, Tierney had returned to his car. When he tried to exit the vehicle to speak with the officers, he “couldn't make the first step up the sidewalk and fell directly on his face.” When the officers helped him to his feet and asked for his account of what had happened, Tierney appeared not to know that an accident had occurred. The report noted that Tierney emitted “a slight odor of alcoholic beverage.” He reportedly kept telling the officers that he was coming from Lexington, where he had had a couple of beers with his son at Tony C's. Eventually he changed his story, saying that he did remember an accident but insisting that he had stopped at the stop sign.

When Tierney refused to take a breath test, the officers read him his rights, arrested and cuffed him, and transported him to the station for booking. He was informed that his license likely would be suspended for 180 days, and his vehicle was towed.

The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from March 5 through 11.

Tuesday, March 5

3:23 p.m. – Larceny under $1,200. An Arlington youth reportedly entered Town Hall and laid a $50 bill on the counter to purchase a monthly parking pass and then, on impulse, while the clerk was getting the pass, palmed and repocketed the bill. After he left, the clerk soon discovered the discrepancy. As the whole transaction had been captured on video, police were soon able to ID the suspect, who was ordered to repay the parking pass fee; he will also face internal discipline at his school.

9:19 p.m. – Accident without Injury. What, another three-car accident in Arlington? Yes, and just like last week's, it was a three-car domino action at a stop light with only light consequences. And, like last week's case, the third car from the light started the chain reaction -- this time at Mass. Ave. and Mystic Street -- when the driver, a teen from Woburn, hit the gas too much like a drag racer when the light turned green. Everyone was OK despite the ensuing bumps, and front and rear damage to the three cars was moderate. The teen received a citation for failure to pay attention.

Wednesday, March 6

12:02 p.m. – Threats. A 38-year-old Arlingtonian filed a report stating that he had received threatening phone calls from a man he'd encountered in a bar while attending a music conference in St. Louis as a company representative. The report stated that the man in question, who would not confirm his identity, had called the complainant's workplace and asked for him by name, telling the receptionist that he “wanted to drill a hole in his head” because “he got me kicked out of a bar in St. Louis.” APD officers have advised the report filer to consider initiating a harassment-prevention protocol in the event that the aggressor comes looking for him in Massachusetts.

2:34 p.m. – Identity Fraud. A Grafton-Street resident contacted police to report that he'd gotten notice from his bank that someone had tried to access his bank account. The perpetrator had gained some personal information with which to make an attempt at theft but not enough to work around the bank's safeguards. Because no funds were taken, the offense is categorized as identity fraud rather than larceny. As the bad actor is likely from out-of-state or out-of-country, determining the identity is considered low priority by APD, Capt. Sean Kiernan said.

9:49 p.m. – Accident with Injury. Two cars collided at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant Street after some confusion about whether waiting for a green arrow was required before making a right turn. Determining fault was difficult with no witnesses, but it was clear to police that a vehicle driven by a 27-year-old from Lexington and another driven by a 29- year-old from Waltham had rammed into each other with considerable force, causing heavy damage to both vehicles. The Lexington man's airbag deployed, but he still received head lacerations, for which he declined treatment. The Waltham driver was apparently unharmed. As responsibility could not be clearly established from the drivers' testimonies and the positions of the cars, police issued no citations. Kiernan commented that this intersection is not considered particularly dangerous but that its traffic-light sequence is unusual for Arlington (though common in Cambridge).

Thursday, March 7

9:54 p.m. – Identity Fraud. A Sheraton Park resident reported to the APD that she had been rudely surprised to find that a $20,000 loan had been taken out in her name. Police gave her a packet of information on how to recover from an identity hijacking. She was advised to notify her credit card company, monitor her credit reports and also to contact the U.S. Small Business Administration to cover possible ramifications to her private business concerns.

Saturday, March 9

8:41 a.m. – Accident, Wire Down. A Highland Avenue man reportedly looked out his window just in time to see a cement truck rumble past and, in the process, tear down what turned out to be a Verizon wire leading to his house. Verizon was notified and quickly sent a truck to restore the downed line. Police determined that the matter should be considered a mere accident rather than a criminal matter.

10:44 a.m. – Larceny under $1,200 by Single Scheme. A Winchester Road resident contacted police to report having been bilked out of hundreds of dollars by a phony puppy adoption site he had encountered on Facebook. The man stated that he had contacted Adopt-a-Puppy and arranged to buy a particular pup for $600. After sending a 50 percent deposit and two other requested payments totaling $175, he was given an address in Orange, Mass., from which to pick the dog up; but when he drove out to the western Mass. address and waited for hours, he found no one home. APD is investigating. Kiernan reported that Facebook has been contacted and that the scam site has been taken down.

Sunday, March 10

4:47 p.m. – Motor Vehicle Larceny. A 51-year-old Mass. Ave. resident filed an APD report that someone had taken his 2014 Toyota Corolla from his apartment building lot the previous night. The man told officers that he had been busy receiving a Doordash delivery when he accidently set down his keys in the lobby “for a moment.” Apparently, someone passing through the lobby spotted and swiped the keys. Police have filed the car's registration and VIN numbers in a car recovery system. Unfortunately, there were no surveillance cameras in the lobby to help identify a suspect.


March 7, 2024: Police blotter Feb. 27-March 4: multiple accidents, fraud attempts


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, March 14, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs, explanations from Capt. Sean Kiernan of the APD and YourArlington's files.