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Merrimack Valley

June 16, 2014

3 motorcycles, 1 car towed during festival

LAWRENCE — Police ordered three motorcycles towed from Jackson Street last night because they were concerned about the sobriety of the operators, according to Lt. Shawn Conway.

“They readily admitted they had been drinking,” Conway told The Eagle-Tribune. The incident happened at around 7:30 p.m. while the Hispanic Festival was taking place on the adjacent Campagnone Common.

Valley Towing also removed a car that had been blocking a driveway on Jackson Terrace, Conway said.

Several Lawrence officers and state troopers responded to the incident, which drew a small crowd. The festival, which thousands of people attended, did not have any major emergencies or incidents, the lieutenant said.

There were two arrests earlier in the day, he said.

One of the motorcyclists, Ceol Soto of Boston, said the police gave him a sobriety test, which he passed.

“They still towed my bike,” he said, adding that he wasn’t sure how he was going to return to Boston last night. The registration and insurance on his motorcycle, he said, are up to date and he has a valid license to operate the vehicle.

Initially, he said, the police told him to get on his motorcycle and leave; then they told him to get off his bike and had it towed. He was not able to retrieve his motorcycle until this morning, he said.

Soto said he was thinking about talking to a lawyer.

Conway said the police put a 12-hour hold on the motorcycles for safety reasons. If they had allowed the operators to reclaim their vehicles last night, one of them may have had a serious accident — and the officers would have been accused of negligence, he said.

“It was a good call,” Conway said.

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