Mattapoisett Police Chief arrested on OUI charge
MATTAPOISETT — Police Chief Mary Lyons has been put on paid leave after she was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol late at night on July 17.
Lyons was charged with operating under the influence of liquor. She pleaded not guilty to the charge on July 19.
At 10:52 p.m. Saturday, Lyons was stopped by State Trooper Patrick A. Bosworth in a 2014 Lexus GX460 for driving erratically on Route 28 north in Bourne and given a field sobriety test, according to state police.
According to a police report filed by Bosworth, he observed Lyons’ car drift from the right lane halfway into the left lane, before returning to the right lane. When Bosworth pulled Lyons over, he reportedly observed the car “pull into the breakdown lane, go into reverse for a couple seconds, then be placed into park.”
Bosworth reported smelling alcohol coming from the driver’s side of the vehicle, solely occupied by Lyons. When Bosworth asked if Lyons had been drinking, she said “I have not,” and when asked to step out of the vehicle, she said “I don’t actually feel I have to.”
Lyons said she was dodging other drivers trying to cut her off, and that she was coming from a golf course, according to the report.
Bosworth asked Lyons to step out of the car again. She responded, “And what if I don’t.”
Bosworth told Lyons he wanted to make sure she “was O.K. to drive.” Lyons reportedly responded, “I’m not challenging you by any means,” and added “I am the Police Chief of Mattapoisett.”
When Lyons eventually exited the vehicle, Bosworth reported he had to remind the police chief that her seatbelt was still on.
Lyons told Bosworth she was unable to participate in a sobriety test because of her “hips and knees,” according to Bosworth.
When Bosworth told Lyons he would still conduct the test, he reported Lyons said “you do what you have to do, bud.”
Bosworth reported noticing the smell of alcohol on Lyons’ breath, and that she was swaying side to side.
The trooper conducted an eye test, in which he reported observing “a lack of smooth pursuit in both eyes.”
Lyons said she could not finish the sobriety test following the eye check, Bosworth reported.
Bosworth awaited another trooper to perform a breathalyzer test. When Lyons took the test, Bosworth reported, she twice pretended to blow into the breathalyzer. Bosworth then took Lyons into custody, and transported her to the State Police Bourne barracks. Upon their arrival, Bosworth reported that Lyons had removed her handcuffs.
Lyons was charged with operating under the influence of liquor and cited with a marked lanes violation. She was released on recognizance and issued a notice of suspension, according to the state trooper report.
“The Town was made aware of the recent incident involving our Chief of Police, Mary Lyons,” Town Administrator Mike Lorenco said. “The Town is taking the matter very seriously and is thoroughly examining the details of the case. Citizens can expect appropriate and swift action following our investigation.”
In a later statement, Lorenco confirmed that Lyons was placed on paid leave, and that the police department will be under the direction of Captain Jason King until further notice.
Lyons began serving as Mattapoisett Police Chief in 2001. In 2009, she became the first female president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
Mattapoisett police declined to comment Monday morning. Sippican Week reached out to Lyons, but did not immediately receive a response.
Lyons’ pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31