standing Westerly police 2

Editor's Note: This version corrects that Andrew K. Bookataub lives at 3 Michaels Way. His home address in police records was incorrect and has since been updated. 

WESTERLY — A Westerly man who exposed himself and police to fentanyl from a ripped bag was arrested Friday night after a foot chase from a traffic stop on Ashaway Road near Route 78.

The man, Andrew K. Bookataub, 27, of 3 Michaels Way, was charged with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. He was arraigned Monday in Fourth Division District Court and was ordered held without bond. He remains in custody at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.

"Our officers and Bookataub had to be monitored for several hours following the incident," said Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey. No one appeared to suffer any ill effects from exposure to the drug, he said.

The police said Bookataub was a passenger in a Lincoln SUV that was stopped for speeding at about 6:45 p.m. The police said a woman was driving and their 2-month-old child was secured in the back seat.

Smelling marijuana, the officer, Brian Bruno, spoke with the driver, who indicated that she had a medical marijuana card, a fact that was later confirmed. However, Bruno is a K-9 officer and his dog, Niko, hit on a spot next to the front passenger's side door.

"These dogs are not trained in marijuana detection," Lacey said. "The fact that he hit at all indicated to the officer that there was something other than marijuana present."

The officer summoned backup and the two were asked to leave the SUV while a search was conducted. Lacey said police found several bags of white powder inside a larger bag, as well as a scale with a white powder residue.

Bookataub then took off running into a wooded area before the officers could question him, the police reported, and Bruno and other officers caught up with him when he reached a chain-link fence. In a struggle with the officers, Bookataub grabbed a bag containing more white powder and bit a corner of it in what the police said was an attempt to dump the powder. At that point, the police said, an officer used a stun gun to subdue him and he dropped the bag. The officers asked repeatedly what was in the bag, and Bookataub told them he believed it was cocaine, according to the police report.

Bookataub and Bruno were treated by Westerly Ambulance personnel and were taken to Westerly Hospital for treatment of cuts and scrapes. Lacey said Bruno was released later that evening after being treated for facial cuts.

While at the hospital, police said another bag of the white powder was discovered on Bookataub's bed and seized. The police said they believe he had it hidden on his person rather than in his clothes.

Lacey said the white substance was field tested and did not test positive for cocaine but did indicate the presence of fentanyl. The substance, 22 grams in all, was sent to the state's laboratories for analysis.

The driver was cited for motor vehicle violations but is not facing criminal charges. Lacey said because of the circumstances, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families was notified.

Bookataub has filed a petition for bond with the state, court records show, but a future court date had not been determined as of Tuesday afternoon.

"This was a dangerous situation. The suspect put himself and our officers at risk, and for what?" Lacey asked.

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