MANCHESTER, NH – Police Officers take an oath to keep the peace, protect life and liberty 24-hours a day. This unique job requirement causes most officers to remain hyper vigilant even when off duty. An officers state of mind allows them to observe behaviors and actions that may not necessarily cause a red flag for people outside of the law enforcement community.
This was evident yesterday when off-duty Police Captain James Soucy of the Community Policing Division was driving home from work. He was operating his personal vehicle on South Willow Street, near South Beech Street, around 3:15 p.m. when he observed a motor vehicle driving erratically.
The 2008 Cadillac CTS was being driven by Sarah Longval, 29 of Sandown. According to Soucy’s account, Longval was swerving in and out of both travel lanes while heading southerly. She also hit several curbs as she continued south on South Willow Street.
Captain Soucy pulled along side her at Driving Park Road and noticed she was losing consciousness while stopped at the traffic light. He yelled at her while seated in his personal car and was able to wake her up. She immediately looked in his direction and sped off in a southerly direction. He followed her from a safe distance while contacting the police department from his personal cell phone.
She eventually pulled into the Weston Road Dunkin Donuts and drove around the building, over curbs, bushes and after several minutes, decided to stop at the drive thru window. A marked patrol unit arrived on scene and conducted a motor vehicle stop. Officer Derek Cataldo and Captain Soucy spoke with the woman and noticed fresh blood on her arm.
The fresh blood and marks were consistent with someone who had recently used a needle to inject an illegal substance. The officers located a gray sock with three needles inside, each possessing a small amount of a substance believed to be heroin, on the driver’s seat of the car. They also observed a spoon on the floor of the Cadillac. Officers believe Longval was “shooting up” heroin while operating her motor vehicle on South Willow Street.
She was charged with possession of a controlled drug, a felony; and operating under the influence of drugs or liquor. She was released on $3,000 bail and will appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on May 22.