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Galluccio stays silent on traffic accident

Galluccio ‘kept falling asleep’ and police were unable to locate his house 13 hours before he allegedly rear-ended a minivan. Galluccio ‘kept falling asleep’ and police were unable to locate his house 13 hours before he allegedly rear-ended a minivan.
By John R. Ellement and Stephanie Ebbert
Globe Staff / November 21, 2009

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MEDFORD - State Senator Anthony D. Galluccio vowed yesterday to focus “on a number of life issues and personal issues’’ as he left court, but continued his silence about why he allegedly sped away from a crash last month after rear-ending a minivan carrying a family of four.

The Cambridge Democrat, who has been convicted twice of driving under the influence of alcohol, has refused to say whether he had been drinking alcohol shortly before the crash the afternoon of Oct. 4 in Cambridge, which left a 13-year-old boy with minor injuries.

“You know, the legislative session has concluded,’’ Galluccio said, speaking to a dozen reporters and photographers as he left Cambridge District Court after a brief hearing in his case. “It gives me an opportunity to focus on personal issues. I am committed to doing that.’’

Galluccio refused to discuss any detail of the case “because of the legal issues.’’ The senator also would not discuss a police report made public earlier this week that showed that Cambridge police gave him a ride home 13 hours before the crash because the officers were told he was “too intoxicated’’ to drive.

After his appearance yesterday, Cambridge police released a third report about the events of Oct. 4. “Both officers reported that they believed Mr. Galluccio was pretty drunk, but at no time did they observe Mr. Galluccio being restrained by anyone or attempting to drive a motor vehicle,’’ Sergeant Silverio Ferreira Jr. wrote.

In the new report, police said the manager of the Basha Cafe on New Street said Galluccio “entered the cafe at 2 a.m.’’ The nightspot is licensed to stay open until 1 a.m., according to city records. The report does not say where Galluccio was before 2 a.m.

Police said the manager told them that Galluccio “did not look well, so he made him something to eat, but did not serve him any alcoholic beverages.’’

Believing Galluccio was too drunk to drive, the manager decided to drive Galluccio home, was given the keys to Galluccio’s car, and spent a frustrating half hour trying to locate Galluccio’s home on Sunset Road. “While trying to locate his house, Mr. Galluccio kept falling asleep, and they were unable to find his residence,’’ police said.

Frustrated, the manager, whose name was redacted from the police report, pulled over at a Fresh Pond gas station and called police. Two officers then drove Galluccio to his home on Trowbridge Street, about 3 miles away from where they first encountered him.

Galluccio, 42, appeared in court in a dark blue suit and plaid tie with two women at his side. His attorney, George Hassett, said that yesterday’s hearing allowed prosecutors and the defense to exchange discovery. Galluccio’s next scheduled appearance is a status hearing Dec. 18.

Four protesters stood in driving rain outside court yesterday, saying they were trying to pressure the Legislature and the courts to hold the senator accountable. They held signs in clear plastic bags that read, “No more special favors’’ and “No more free passes for Galluccio.’’

“We’re worried that the type of justice that should be given to people who do drink and drive . . . should not be shrugged off just because he’s a politician or because he promises to deal with his personal issues or talk to the senators behind closed doors,’’ said one of the protesters, Alan Ashbaugh, 27, a Web designer from Needham. “He also has to come before the law, just like any one of us.’’

While in the courthouse, Galluccio visited the Probation Department. The senator has pleaded not guilty to charges of leaving the scene after causing property damage and to leaving the scene after causing personal injury. Galluccio’s driving record includes two DUI convictions: in 1984, when he was 17, and in 1997.

In December 2005, he triggered a four-car accident at a downtown Boston intersection at 2 a.m. No sobriety test was administered. A clerk-magistrate ruled that he had been drinking but that there was not enough evidence for a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Assistant Plymouth District Attorney Bridget Norton Middleton said her office is continuing its investigation and declined comment.

Andrew Ryan of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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