WOONSOCKET — Police said they risked crashing their cruisers on icy, snow-choked roads as they rushed to investigate a report of a disturbance involving a gun Saturday, and this was their reward: Two cops assaulted by a man who fabricated the story.
Jody Dilazzaro, 39, was charged with assaulting Officers James Cote and Justin Mowry, who were among several policemen who responded to Dilazzaro’s Oakton Street residence about 6:40 p.m.
He was charged with two counts of assaulting public officials, resisting arrest, possession of an illegal knife and filing a fraudulent report of a crime.
One officer, Patrolman Scott A. Breguet, observed in his report that, despite the apparent urgency of the call, he wasn’t able to drive any faster than 15 mph as he responded because he kept losing control of his cruiser. Snow had been falling for a couple of hours already during what was the region’s worst winter storm in a couple of years.
After fishtailing their way to the scene, police found Dilazzaro sitting alone on a wall outside his apartment. Given the nature of the call, police asked him to show them his hands to make sure he wasn’t armed, but Dilazzaro immediately became confrontational, according to reports.
He began struggling violently on the ground as several officers attempted to restrain him and managed to kick Cote and Mowry during the melee. Neither was seriously injured, but Cote was treated at the scene for a hand cut.
As they struggled with Dilazzaro, the suspect kept repeating that he was the individual who had called police because an acquaintance was in his apartment holding a gun to his head and, though he showed no sign of injury he, Dilazzaro, wanted a rescue squad.
Police checked out the information by interviewing two women who were in Dilazzaro’s apartment — who disputed the account. They also double-checked a recording of Dilazarro’s call to police dispatch. Furthermore, police said the man Dilazzaro claimed had threatened him with a firearm couldn’t possibly have done so because he was an inmate at the state prison on Saturday night.
“Due to the fact that Dilazzaro told dispatch that he had been held at gunpoint ... that both he and residents of the apartment stated there was no firearm, and the fact that the weather conditions made the response to that area hazardous, not only to the emergency responders, but to the public as well, he was charged with false reporting of a crime,” Breguet said in his report.