Intoxicated Sunderland man crashes car, leads police on search for 5 women he said were driving

Recorder Staff
Friday, February 17, 2017

WHATELY — After allegedly driving while intoxicated and crashing into a snowbank, police say 38-year-old Tyrone Wallace of Sunderland attempted to convince them five women he’d met at Club Castaway were the real drivers.

Arrested Saturday and posting bail, Wallace was arraigned in Greenfield District Court Wednesday on charges of operating a vehicle with a suspended license, operating under the influence of alcohol, possessing an open container in a vehicle, negligent operation and attempting to intimidate an official. He will return to court for a pretrial conference on March 24.

According to a report written by Whately Police officer Adam Zaniewski, police were dispatched to the intersection of Christian Lane and River Road for a car off the road at 12:02 a.m. Saturday.

Zaniewski found two people when he arrived. Wallace was shoveling out the driver’s side, and Khalil Scott was leaning on the passenger side. The car, a 2010 black Toyota Prius owned by Wallace’s roommate, had skidded through a stop sign on Christian Lane and sustained front end damage when it hit the snowbank.

Wallace continually changed his story, according to Zaniewski’s report, first saying he had been walking and stopped to help the driver. Wallace later said he and Scott had been coming from Club Castaway, and five women that he’d met there had been driving the car, in which he was a passenger. He claimed they walked away on foot when the car crashed.

According to Zaniewski’s report, both men exuded a strong odor of alcohol, had glassy, bloodshot eyes and were unsteady on their feet. Zaniewski noticed no footprints leaving the scene.

Three officers from Deerfield and Sunderland assisted, with some checking nearby homes looking unsuccessfully for evidence of the women and questioning Club Castaway’s manager, who confirmed Wallace and Scott’s presence at the adult entertainment club, but denied they had left with five women. According to the report, Zaniewski tried to explain to Wallace he needed to find the women to ensure they weren’t injured in the crash, with Wallace assuring Zaniewski he would never lie to him.

After an officer spoke to Wallace’s roommate, who said Wallace had permission to take the car, Zaniewski placed him under arrest for operating under the influence and operating without a license. Zaniewski described Wallace as “irate,” saying he “would be causing a lot of problems tonight” and expressed his belief the police were targeting him as an African-American. He continued to be highly uncooperative through the booking process, according to the report.

When Byrne’s Towing arrived to tow the car, Zaniewski performed a vehicle inventory and found an open, empty nip of whiskey.