standing Hopkinton Police

HOPKINTON — A New York man was arrested after the police said a flat tire and his “nervous behavior” created suspicion, leading an officer to discover that the car was stolen. 

Gregory Stewart, 54, of New York, N.Y., was charged Thursday afternoon with possession of a stolen vehicle. He was also charged on three arrest warrants stemming from previous cases, including one more than 25 years old. He was arraigned Friday and taken to the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston in lieu of a $5,000 surety bond, according to court records. 

Stewart was the driver of a gray Toyota Camry that had stopped on Main Street near the intersection of Woodville Alton Road around 1:15 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Sgt. Ryan Percival noticed a flat rear passenger-side tire, according to a police report. The officer pulled beside the Camry and asked Stewart if he was OK.

The report said Stewart immediately became nervous and declined help, saying “he was going to the nearest service station.” Advised that none were open nearby, the driver said he’d call his son in New York and tried to get the officer to leave.

Percival learned through the National Crime Information Center that the car was reported stolen in New York City. He called for backup and received help from Hopkinton and Richmond officers, as well as a Rhode Island state trooper.

A passenger in the car and the passenger’s son, who was in the back seat, were also detained but later released. His son was returned to him as soon as it was determined he would not be charged, and the two were taken to Cumberland Farms in Richmond to wait for a ride. Police said he was also allowed to get his personal belonging out of the car. 

Further investigation revealed that Stewart was wanted in Rhode Island, on a 1989 warrant from Central Falls, and on warrants issued in 1991 in Providence and Pawtucket. All three were related to failure to appear or pay fines on previous court cases, according to Rhode Island judicial records. 

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com