ROCKLAND (CBS) – A 65-year-old man is accused of driving drunk into the Rockland police chief’s cruiser and then fleeing the scene.

Richard Cirignano, of Rockland, is charged with his second offense of operating under the influence, leaving the scene of a crash, failure to stop for a police officer, speeding and more charges.

Richard Cirignano (Photo credit: Rockland police)

The Rockland police department says Chief John Llewellyn was leaving the downtown Holiday Stroll event at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday when Cirignano drove his pickup truck through a red light and struck the chief’s unmarked cruiser.

“As I was going through the intersection, I saw that he was coming up really close, really fast,” said Llewellyn. “I think just out of instinct, I hit the gas and pointed towards the church with my car. He hit the back end of the car and spun us around up onto the front lawn of the church.

Llewellyn’s wife, and fellow police officer, was also in the car. Neither was hurt so the chief turned on his flashing lights and pursued a speeding Cirignano before pulling him over about a half mile from the crash scene, according to the department.

The Rockland Police Chief and his wife (WBZ-TV)

“Police mode kicked in at that point, I was more angry than anything at that point. So I drove up off the lawn, put on the lights and siren because it was my department vehicle,” Llewellyn explained.

Police said in a statement, “Through the ensuing investigation, it was determined that Cirignano had been driving under the influence of alcohol.”

Cirignano was arraigned Monday in Hingham District Court. He was released on personal recognizance. Police said this is his second OUI offense, he will lose his license for 180 days.

A pretrial conference was scheduled for Jan. 24.


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