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Richmond police seized one ounce of crack cocaine and other drug paraphernalia from a woman who was reported to be driving erratically just after midnight on Sunday. Courtesy Richmond Police Department

RICHMOND — A Charlestown woman that police said was driving so erratically it led to a frantic call from a concerned motorist is facing charges after a traffic stop for suspicion of DUI led to the discovery of an ounce of crack cocaine.

Richmond police on Sunday charged the woman, Patricia L. Thornton, of 338 Shumankanuc Road, with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content between .10 and .15 and possession of a narcotic substance. Thornton, 54, was arraigned before a justice of the peace and later released on a promise to appear.

According to the police, dispatchers received a call just after midnight from a motorist who was speaking frantically and expressed concern regarding an erratic driver. Police Chief Elwood M. Johnson Jr. said the caller, who provided a description of the car and license plate, told officers that Thornton "was going to take somebody out if you guys don't pull (them) over."

Officers located Thornton on Mechanic Street in Hope Valley and were able to initiate a traffic stop a short time later on Switch Road. Thornton was given a field sobriety test, which she failed, and was taken into custody. At the Richmond Police Department, the police said she consented to a breathalyzer which returned readings of .118 and .119 in separate phases.

During a search of her person and car during the arrest, the police said officers located a bag containing one ounce of crack cocaine and other drug paraphernalia consistent with the use of the drugs. The items were seized as evidence.

Thornton has not entered a plea and is due in Washington County Superior Court for a felony screening on Aug. 16, according to Rhode Island judicial records.


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