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Police Officer Draws Gun While Making Arrests After Short Pursuit

The officer had his gun trained on two men in a parking lot Friday afternoon until another officer arrived and handcuffed them.

An Arlington police officer drew his gun and pointed it at two men while making two arrests Friday afternoon just over the town line in the Giles Fine Wine parking lot in West Medford.

The incident began shortly after 1 p.m. when the officer, who was driving an unmarked cruiser on Chestnut Street, pulled up to the Medford Street light at Warren Street. When the light turned green, the vehicle in front of him, a 1997 Buick Skylark, accelerated at an “unreasonable and improper” speed, according to the police report.

The car was soon traveling at 43 mph, and after it passed a “clearly visible” 35 mph speed-limit sign, the officer activated his emergency lights and sirens at Hamlet Street, according to the report.

The car continued to travel on Medford Street, toward the Mystic Valley Parkway rotary, without slowing down, according to the report. The officer then radioed dispatch that he was involved in a pursuit, and they contacted additional Arlington units and Medford police.

The car took the High Street bridge into Medford and then an immediate right onto Jermone Street. It then stopped in the Giles Fine Wine parking lot, according to the report.

The car’s driver then exited his vehicle without being told to do so.

“I felt that my safety was at risk due to the fact that the driver had failed to stop and now was acting in an unreasonable manner by exiting a vehicle that just attempted to elude police,” the officer wrote in his report.

“I also immediately recognized the operator as Casey Kolenda who has a history of violent offenses as well as assaulting police officers and resisting arrest,” the officer continued.

The officer drew his weapon and ordered Kolenda to the ground. However, Kolenda refused the order and took steps toward the officer, according to the report.

The officer repeated the command, and this time, Kolenda complied.

The vehicle’s passenger then exited without being told to do so. The officer trained his weapon on the passenger and ordered him to the ground as well. The passenger took a step toward the officer and then went to the ground, according to the report.

The officer continued to point his gun at both men until another Arlington officer arrived on scene and handcuffed them.

The driver, Casey R. Kolenda, 26, of Ceylon Street, Dorchester, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle after a suspended license, operating a motor vehicle with a revoked registration, failure to stop for police and speeding.

The passenger, Matthew Cody, 23, of Park Terrace, Arlington, was also arrested and charged with being in possession of a Class B drug and carrying a dangerous weapon. Police allegedly found the drugs on him, and an 18-inch wooden billy club underneath his seat.

Correction: An initial version of this article reported that the passenger was not charged.

Donald Mei October 08, 2012 at 04:55 AM
If the cop had been in a marked cruiser, he would have been fully justified in what he did. My problem is more with the use of an unmarked car to do a traffic stop. The right thing to do, and it may actually be policy in Arlington, is to call a marked car to make the stop, while following from a safe distance. Neither my wife nor I will stop for an unmarked car. There have been too many instances of people being robbed or raped by people impersonating police. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to stop for a police car. But flashing lights doesn't make a car into a police car. Anyone with a credit card and an internet connection can buy wig wag controllers that flash the headlights and inconspicuous LED strobes that go in the grill of the car and the top of the windshield. The right thing to do is to dial 911 and then drive somewhere safe while confirming if the car is in fact police. It would seem that since the only offense the person originally did was a pretty minor traffic violation, the officer should have followed at a distance while a marked car was called to make the stop. Lets be real. 43 in a 35 is not an urgent situation. I'm sure that the officer had good intentions. I also understand that its easy to play post game quarterback. But either way, he should understand that when he's in an unmarked car, he's not going to get the same deference from the public as if hes in a marked cruiser.
Donald Mei October 08, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Yeah. Like 43 in a 35!!!!
Jennifer October 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Donald if I understand the story correctly this took place just after noon. So a car with blue lights and a siren in the niddle of the day time is going to pull you over in a populated area and rape you? You are giving out horrible advice that is going to get people arrested. Blue lights and siren are the police. Pull over and stop and call 911 if you are that concerned. Plenty of State Police cars are unmarked as well as local police.
Frankie goes to Hollywood October 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I grew up in Arlington there has always been a huge drug problem I don't understand why putting a place where teens and young adults can get treatment is a problem? It should help in the solution! And it is NOT a methadone clinic! Do your homework you ignorant fool! Why don't you talk to an administrator down there if you are so concerned! Educate yourself!
tommy doyle October 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
These police are liars... Shoot a black man for speeding huh? When's the last time u seen a detective holding a radar? This has bullshit written all over it... Hopefully the jury will be filled with ppl with common sense. But if big tim up top is on the jury... Oh mann. Yall are sick

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