Repeat Drunk Driver Allegedly Strikes Cyclist, Officer

July 26, 2011
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A twice-convicted drunk driver was allegedly intoxicated again last week and driving with a suspended license when he struck a bicyclist stopped in a crosswalk and then hit the Boston Police officer who pulled him over, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Neither the 28-year-old female cyclist nor the Boston Police officer assigned to District 4 was seriously injured by Vinodkumar Patel, 58, of Jamaica Plain during the July 11 incident at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Henry recommended that Patel be held on $5,000 at his arraignment Friday; Boston Municipal Court Judge Edward Redd released Patel on his own recognizance.

Patel was driving a 2003 GMC Yukon registered to a Jamaica Plain woman at about 5 p.m. when a Boston Police officer working traffic operations saw him stop short in traffic as he traveled northbound on Massachusetts Avenue about 100 feet from the traffic signal at Boylston Street.

Patel then allegedly started up again and traveled through a red light onto Boylston. The intersection features a sign marked, “No turn on red.”

As he turned, Patel allegedly struck a cyclist who was stopped in the crosswalk and dragged her and her bicycle short distance until the officer stopped him.     Boston EMS responded to the scene and treated the woman for abrasions to her lower legs; she declined any further medical attention.

As the officer cleared a traffic cone from in front of the vehicle Patel was driving, Patel allegedly struck him while maneuvering to the curb. The officer was uninjured, but in speaking with Patel, noticed the smell of alcohol coming from him.

As a result, the officer ordered him from the sport-utility vehicle for field sobriety tests.

Patel failed each of the tests he was administered. The officer took him into custody for operating under the influence of alcohol as a third offense in light of previous convictions in Waltham and Concord.

Patel was additionally charged with operating with a suspended license and received civil citations for the crosswalk violation and taking a right turn on a red light.

Patel will return to court on Sept. 21. He is represented by attorney Robert Solomon.

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