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May 14, 2013

Keeping an eye on Salisbury

Port native part of street-beat initiative

SALISBURY — Cruising very slowly down Atlantic Avenue, Salisbury’s newest full-time police officer Richard Dellaria spots an SUV parked at the very end of the crowded, coast-hugging street.

The sight of the dark-colored vehicle in a no-parking area far away from any other car instantly draws his attention. As he glides the aggressive-looking Dodge Charger cruiser up to the SUV, a young man and woman hurriedly exit the vehicle, prompting Dellaria to exclaim they are likely up to no good.

Immediately, the 27-year-old Newburyport native notices an abnormally large bulge in the man’s right front pocket. He asks the man what’s in his pocket, only to discover a wallet filled to the bursting point with papers, cards and cash.

As he is asked to sit on the hood of Dellaria’s cruiser, the young man, wearing a Cleveland Indians baseball cap with straight brim and dark colored T-shirt, acknowledges the request by calling Dellaria “bro.” When Dellaria corrects him and says he’s not a “bro,” the man calls him “dude,” eliciting another denouncement.

“I’m not a dude either,” Dellaria says.

Dellaria turns his attention to the dark-haired woman, who begins sobbing profusely as he peppers her with questions about what they are doing there. His questions are asked quickly and in an unnerving tone that oozes of suspicion. Eventually, he peers through a car window and asks if he can have a look inside. The woman declines. Without consent, Dellaria can’t search the vehicle.

With that, Dellaria collects her driver’s license and the driver’s license of the young man before slipping back into his cruiser. With great alacrity, he taps their information into the cruiser’s laptop computer. Within seconds, the police’s database informs him there aren’t any warrants for their arrests but that the young man, who lives in Amesbury, just served a stretch in jail and was recently released.

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