How a Boston radio host was charged with drunken driving, assaulting a police officer

Boston radio personality Michele McPhee is seen in South Boston District Court Thursday afternoon during her arraignment on charges stemming from a motor vehicle stop early this morning.
Boston radio personality Michele McPhee is seen in South Boston District Court Thursday afternoon during her arraignment on charges stemming from a motor vehicle stop early this morning. –Mark Garfinkel/Pool

It was 1 a.m. Thursday morning when a Massachusetts state trooper says he noticed a white Mercedes come within inches of sideswiping the right barrier on I-93 in Dorchester.

The northbound Mercedes continued drifting across lanes, overcorrecting, and braking, according to Trooper Patrick Candeliere’s police report.

Candeliere flicked on his lights and the Mercedes slowly came to a stop, still in the highway’s right lane, according to the report.

It was here that Candeliere says he first noticed the smell of alcohol coming from the SUV of Michele McPhee, the Emmy-nominated journalist and Boston talk radio host.

McPhee pleaded not guilty to all charges against her Thursday.

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Condeliere said he asked McPhee to exit the highway, so they were not stopped in traffic, which she did, he said, though not before hitting a curb.

When he returned to McPhee’s driver’s side, he said he noticed her eyes were bloodshot and glassy — and again, the smell of alcohol.

According to the report, the 45-year-old told Candeliere she was going home to East Boston from Quincy, where she worked at WMEX 1510, as the 3 to 6 p.m. radio host.

McPhee said that “she had defended cops for 30 years’’ in a slurred voice, according to the report, as she tried to return cards to her wallet, dropping them inside the vehicle.

Candeliere said he noticed the smell of alcohol grow stronger, and asked McPhee to get out of the SUV.

Now out of the vehicle, McPhee again mentioned that she had “defended police for years,’’ the report states, and asked that Candeliere contact Dana Pullman, the president of the Massachusetts State Police Association, as well as other police officers who were her friends.

McPhee told Candeliere that she got out of work around 9 p.m. and went out to dinner with her boyfriend, the report states.

Candeliere said he asked her if she had anything to drink.

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“Nothing… well some wine at dinner,’’ she replied, according to the report.

Candeliere asked McPhee to perform a sobriety test.

“Call any trooper, Dana Pullman, or the Colonel, so I can leave,’’ she responded, according to the report. She then refused to take the test, he said.

Candeliere told McPhee that he was arresting her for operating under the influence of alcohol and attempted to handcuff her.

McPhee grew “belligerent, resistant, and enraged,’’ according to the report. When Candeliere reached for her arm to cuff her, she elbowed him in the chest, he said, and began kicking him in the legs. The two struggled back and forth, veering into the road, the report states.

“I’m calling the Colonel… let me go… get a supervisor,’’ McPhee said, according to the report, as she continued kicking and pushing Candeliere. He radioed for backup.

Minutes later, two other officers arrived. One of them, Officer Kevin Coyne, grabbed one of McPhee’s arms, according to the report, as he, Candeliere, and McPhee fell to the sidewalk.

McPhee continued to resist on the sidewalk, the report states, but police were able to handcuff her (though they had to reapply the handcuffs, after McPhee managed to get out of them).

Candeliere said he noticed blood coming from McPhee’s face. Boston EMS treated her injuries at the South Boston state police station, where McPhee continued with “enraged and condescending’’ statements and behavior, according to the report.

Both McPhee and Candeliere were later taken to Tufts Medical Center for treatment.

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McPhee was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on a police officer. She did not immediately respond to emails or calls for comment.

The radio host was released with no bail imposed, according to Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark. She is set to return to court August 8.

On Thursday night, WMEX management said in a statement that the station “stands behind [McPhee] in this difficult time’’:

Michele McPhee is a respected member of the 1510 WMEX family, and the management of 1510 WMEX stands behind her in this difficult time as we would any friend or family member. We respect Michele’s privacy, and ask that any further questions regarding this event be directed to her counsel. We leave it to the judicial system of the State of Massachusetts to provide due process and justice to Michele, while we continue to support her within our family, and wish her a speedy recovery from the serious injuries that she sustained in the course of this event.

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