, Newburyport, MA

April 27, 2013

Port man convicted of 3rd OUI

Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — NEWBURYPORT — A local man will spend the next six months in jail and two years on probation after convictions on his third drunken-driving offense, hitting a motorist and attacking police officers in February.

Lionel Colon, 29, of 35 Washington St., Newburyport, was convicted yesterday of driving while under the influence of alcohol (third offense), leaving the scene of personal injury, assault and battery on a police officer, carrying a dangerous weapon (a black baton), reckless driving and driving after license suspension (subsequent offense).

According to police reports, Colon was traveling east on High Street near the Bartlet Mall in a green SUV around 5:30 p.m. on February 21, when he rammed into another motorist traveling in front of him.

Instead of pulling over, Colon swerved around the car and continued down High Street until pulling into the State Street Mobil Station parking lot at a high rate of speed. Then, the suspect raced out of the lot and made his way down State Street toward the Route 1 traffic circle.

Police units eventually spotted the green SUV on Washington Street after motorists there called to report an erratic operator. Police began questioning Colon and his female passenger, who had already exited the vehicle, to determine who was behind the wheel. Police reported it became quickly apparent that Colon exhibited signs of intoxication, including slurred speech and having trouble standing steady on his feet.

When it seemed police would arrest Colon’s female companion for being behind the wheel, he confessed to police he was driving. As police tried to arrest him, Colon became extremely agitated and attacked officers Charles Ferlauto and Shawn Eaton. Police managed to force Colon to the ground and handcuff him after a brief struggle, which including the application of pepper spray to his eyes, according to police reports.

The female victim was eventually transferred to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport after complaining of serious neck and back pain. An ambulance crew was also dispatched to Washington Street to treat Colon and Eaton, who had both been affected by pepper spray, according to court documents.

During the booking process, Colon refused to take a Breathalyzer test, and it was determined that his driver’s license was revoked due to previous drunken-driving incidents.

Colon had been held without bail until his trial, after been deemed a danger to the public.

Daily News Staff Writer David Rogers contributed to his report.