PEABODY — A Peabody man was arrested twice on drunken driving charges Saturday night — the second arrest coming after he crashed head-on into a car stopped at a red light, court papers say.
Julio Cruz, 49, of 48 Aberdeen Ave., is currently being held on a total of $5,000 bail, charged with two counts of second-offense drunken driving, as well as other charges.
Cruz was first arrested at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening after someone spotted him passed out behind the wheel of his Ford pickup truck, parked behind Greg’s Deli on First Street.
Police roused Cruz, and, noting an odor of alcohol, an open can of Budweiser in the center console and a nip-bottle of Fireball cinnamon-flavored whiskey between his legs, asked him to take part in some field sobriety tests, which police say he failed.
Cruz, who has a nine-page criminal record, was arrested on the second-offense drunken driving charge, and a charge of driving with an open container of alcohol.
The truck, while inventoried by police, who noted a number of bottles of liquor and beer inside, was not towed. Instead, it remained parked behind the deli, which was closed.
Cruz, was booked, then released on personal recognizance just over an hour later, at 7:35 p.m.
Exactly four hours later, at 11:35 p.m., police were called to the scene of a head-on crash on Lynnfield Street near the Sunoco gas station, where three men were now fighting.
Patrolman David McGovern, who had assisted with Cruz’s arrest four hours earlier, immediately recognized him. Knowing that Cruz’s license had just been suspended for the earlier drunken driving arrest, McGovern put him in handcuffs.
The two other men at the scene said they had seen Cruz driving erratically behind them on Washington Street.
Cruz failed to negotiate the bend in the road and veered off to the right, colliding with the front end of a Hyundai sedan that was stopped at a red light on Lynnfield Street. The driver, a 52-year-old woman, was not reported as injured in police reports.
The witnesses, ages 50 and 48, said they pulled over, and saw Cruz “enraged” and yelling at the woman driving the Hyundai. They yelled at him to stop.
Then, the men said, Cruz tried to get back into his truck. The two men blocked the door, and Cruz then punched the older man in the face. The three were still struggling when officers arrived.
Cruz insisted that his license had not just been suspended, and denied drinking anything after leaving the police station.
Police believe that Cruz’s girlfriend, who showed up to bail Cruz out earlier in the evening after his first arrest, then drove him to First Street, where he got back into the pickup truck and drove away.
The pickup, which had front-end damage after the crash, was towed after Cruz’s second arrest.
Cruz was held without bail following the second arrest, which included new charges of second offense drunken driving, driving after license suspension, driving to endanger, failing to stay within marked lanes and assault and battery.
But on Monday, prosecutors were not able, under the law, to file a request to keep Cruz in custody without bail as a danger to the public. Under the state bail law, only a third or subsequent offense of drunken driving can trigger detention without bail.
And because the arrest earlier in the evening had not been adjudicated by a court, the second arrest that night is not legally considered a third offense.
Cruz, a landscaper, was not expected to immediately make bail in the case. If he is released, he’s been ordered not to drive and not to drink, a condition that will be enforced by random Breathalyzer tests.
He’s due back in court on April 19 for a pretrial hearing in the cases.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.