HAVERHILL — Police charged a Lake Street man with operating under the influence of liquor, fifth offense, after they said he rear-ended another vehicle then fled the scene, without exchanging information with the other driver.
Witnesses provided police with the license plate number of the man's vehicle, which led police to his home.
In addition to the drunken driving charge, Richard Ricker Jr., 52, of 265 Lake St. was charged with leaving the scene of personal injury, leaving the scene of property damage and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Police said Ricker has four prior convictions for operating under the influence of alcohol.
Ricker, who is employed as a union plumber, according to police, was arrested Saturday afternoon at his home.
He was arraigned on the charges on Tuesday in Haverhill District Court, where Judge Patricia Dowling ordered him held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for June 4.
According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, Patrolman Matthew Marshall was dispatched to Main Street at Plaistow Road for a motor vehicle accident involving a black pickup truck that had fled the scene after colliding with the rear end of a compact car.
Marshall said he pulled into the Mobil station at the intersection of Main Street and Plaistow Road and spoke to a 20-year-old Manchester, New Hampshire, woman who told him she was sitting at a red light in her Hyundai Elantra waiting to turn into the Munroe Muffler parking lot when her car was rear-ended.
The female driver told Marshall that she suffered minor neck pain while her female passenger told Marshall that she suffered a small cut on one of her ears. Both women refused medical treatment, Marshall noted in his report.
The Hyundai's driver told Marshall that after the crash, she and Ricker pulled into the Mobil station and that Ricker got out of his pickup truck and asked her not to call police. The woman said she was about to call police when Ricker got back into his truck and drove away.
According to the report, Sgt. John Arahovites went to Ricker's home and informed him about an investigation into an accident he was allegedly involved in.
Marshall, who arrived shortly afterwards, noted in his report that Ricker showed signs of intoxication, including slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol.
Ricker told the officers that he and his brother had just left the 110 Grill when the car in front of them stopped abruptly and he struck its rear end.
Ricker's brother told police they'd consumed a "couple" of beers at the restaurant.
During a field sobriety test, Ricker nearly fell over, prompting his brother to tell the officers that his brother has brain damage. Arahovites then stopped the test out of concerns for Ricker's safety, Marshall noted in his report.
Ricker told police that he'd fallen down a flight of stairs in 2004, and that he forgot to tell them he was paralyzed in his right arm.
Ricker was arrested and charged with OUI, fifth offense.
Police said that due to Ricker's large size, handcuffs would not fit around his wrists.
During the booking process, Ricker refused to submit to a chemical test and was informed that his license would be suspended for 180 days, Marshall noted in his report.