EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 5, 2013

Man asks police if arrest ruins his chance to be a cop

LAWRENCE – A Lawrence man who cut off a police officer driving an unmarked cruiser and was later charged with illegal drug possession asked if his arrest would effect a future career in law enforcement, police said.

“Is this gonna hurt my chances of being a cop?” asked James Acosta, 22, of 196 Maple St., as he was being booked at the Lawrence police station on Monday evening.

Acosta was arrested and charged with driving to endanger and illegal possession of marijuana after a 3:46 p.m. incident at South Broadway and Shattuck streets.

Officer Gary Yancey was on patrol in an unmarked 2003 Crown Victoria when Acosta, driving a 2003 white Dodge minivan, drove up on his right side and stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, Yancey said Acosta jerked his steering wheel to the left “attempting to force me over so he could cut me off and jump ahead in line.”

Acosta did this twice, Yancey wrote, “and from my observation he came within inches of hitting my cruiser.”

Yancey said he jammed on his brakes and let Acosta go ahead of him. Then he pulled him over on South Broadway just before Crosby Street. After Yancey got out of his car and went to the window, Acosta said “My bad officer. I was just trying to scare you. I didn’t know you were a cop.”

Yancey replied that it shouldn’t matter if he was a cop or not. “You (could have) caused an accident and killed somebody,” Yancey said he told Acosta.

After he was taken into custody, Acosta told a police officer there was “two bags of weed” of the floor of the minivan. Two bags of marijuana, packaged for distribution, were found, Yancey said.

In addition to his arrest, Yancey submitted an “immediate threat” request to the Registry of Motor Vehicles asking for Acosta’s driver’s license to be immediately suspended or revoked.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screennname EagleTribJill.

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