Great Barrington police officer facing OUI charge after turnpike stop

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GREAT BARRINGTON — A town police officer is facing a drunken driving charge after being arrested Saturday on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Daniel Bartini, 26, was arrested by a state police trooper in Otis and charged with operating under the influence of liquor. He had been scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Monday in Southern Berkshire District Court, but failed to appear, according to court officials.

Police Chief William Walsh told The Eagle that Bartini's arraignment has been rescheduled to May 20 because he is in rehabilitation.

State police received calls about 5 p.m. Saturday from other drivers who reported a blue pickup operated by a male with Massachusetts plates driving erratically and at a high rate of speed on the turnpike in Becket, according to the arrest report. Both callers said the truck, traveling eastbound, had "almost struck their vehicles from behind and swerved around their vehicles at a high rate of speed."

Bartini, who was off-duty, was pulled over about 40 minutes later heading westbound, and told the trooper he was traveling to Agawam, which the trooper noted is in the opposite direction, according to the police report.

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He refused to produce his driver's license and registration or to take a Breathalyzer test, the report said. He failed a field sobriety test, smelled strongly of alcohol, was disoriented and disheveled, and his speech was slurred.

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Upon booking, Bartini allegedly punched the booking room wall. And police confiscated a pistol found secured in his truck.

He was released on his own recognizance, with a bail fee of $40.

"I'm extremely upset about this news and the Department's Internal Affairs Unit is conducting a full investigation," Walsh told The Eagle via email on Monday. "A detailed report will be forward to the Town Manager soon."

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In 2016, Bartini was pulled over by a Sheffield police officer who reported he was driving erratically, and said Bartini and his passenger appeared intoxicated.

Police did not subject Bartini to tests or issue a citation, and allowed the pair to be picked up and driven home by another Great Barrington officer.

At the time, town officials would not release information about disciplinary action against Bartini, citing privacy laws for personnel matters, but said the entire department had to complete an alcohol training course.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.


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