WESTERLY — Three local men were arrested Sunday during an incident that began when they disrupted traffic on Apache Drive and warned oncoming motorists that an officer was clocking cars with radar.
Westerly police charged all three — Zachary Woycik, 23, of Pawcatuck, and 19-year-olds Caleb Schmidt and Kevin L. McGill, both of Westerly, with disorderly conduct. Schmidt was also charged with resisting arrest and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. McGill, 19, was charged with obstructing an officer and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and Woycik, 23 was charged with obstructing an officer and three counts of vandalism in an unrelated case.
Woycik, of 379 Liberty St., Apt. 11, was arraigned Monday in Fourth Division District Court. According to judicial records, he had been free on bond after his arrest in the Providence area in January on charges of felony assault with a device similar in appearance to a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered held without bail pending a status conference on Wednesday.
Schmidt and McGill, both of 11 Apache Drive, Apt. D, were released on a promise to appear for arraignment this month in Fourth Division District Court.
Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said a shift supervisor had parked on Apache Drive to conduct speed enforcement after receiving complaints from residents. A police report said the supervisor saw the three men walking abreast down the road at about 5:30 p.m., waving to passing cars and shouting "there's an officer ahead, slow down." They continued warning motorists as they walked past the police cruiser, according to the police report, with Schmidt then walking to the center line to continue motioning with hand gestures towards cars.
The officer tried to speak with Schmidt, but he ignored multiple commands and continued to walk with the others. When the officer started to approach him, Schmidt ran momentarily and tried to hide behind a tree.
Lacey said several motorists slowed and stopped. One witness pulled over and watched what was going on, and later gave a written statement to the police.
In the meantime, the officer told Schmidt he was under arrest, the police said, but he refused to be handcuffed and struggled. At that point, Woycik and McGill approached the officer, yelling and swearing at him as he struggled with Schmidt. Lacey said backup arrived a moment later and the police were able to defuse the situation and take the other two into custody.
Lacey said officers found 18.5 grams of marijuana in a bag in Schmidt's back pocket, as well as 1.5 grams on McGill.
Officers also discovered that Woycik was wanted in connection with a Nov. 24, 2018, incident outside the Alley Katz Bowling Alley in Westerly. According to the warrant, two witnesses saw Woycik stabbing a tire of a BMW with a knife. Lacey said an investigation determined that Woycik had also stabbed tires on two other vehicles, a Lexus and another BMW. The police said the intended victim was the brother of an ex-girlfriend, but he wasn't sure which car the man drove.
The police said Woycik initially denied being at the bowling alley, but later confessed when officers told him surveillance video showed him leaning by each of the cars that night.