WESTERLY — A Waterford man who was charged with obstructing Westerly officers on two consecutive days has been referred to pretrial services Tuesday to take part in a mental health evaluation.
The man, Justin Michael Bardwell, 32, was arrested on July 16 and 17. On the second day he was also charged with resisting arrest.
Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said officers came across Bardwell around 1 p.m. on July 16 after a caller reported a suspicious man in the area of the Valenti car dealership and Sunny Side Up restaurant on Post Road. Bardwell told the police that his name was Christopher Johnson, and that he had come from New York, and his car had broken down. The police said he couldn't tell the officers where the car was or which way he had been traveling.
Bardwell was not carrying an ID, but officers found his Waterford library card, which included his photo. The police confirmed his identity through the Waterford and Norwich police departments, which had his mug shot.
The next day, police again responded after a caller said Bardwell was standing in front of the Bank of America yelling obscenities at passing cars, and cutting in and out of afternoon traffic on Franklin Street.
Bardwell again introduced himself as Christopher Johnson, but fled on foot after one of the officers told him he knew who he was. The police chased him around the block and tackled him in front of Pier Cleaners on Granite Street.
Bardwell was held overnight after both arrests and arraigned in Fourth Division District Court. After his second arrest, he given a mental health referral, according to Rhode Island judicial records. He was released on a promise to appear in court.