Northampton Police officer on paid leave following alleged OUI

By EMILY CUTTS

@ecutts_HG

Published: 03-19-2018 5:49 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A city police officer has been placed on paid leave following a weekend arrest for allegedly driving while drunk, running a red light and hitting another car.

Michael B. Cronin, 26, of Florence, pleaded not guilty Monday in Northampton District Court to a charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of property damage. Cronin also denied a civil infraction of failing to stop or yield. He was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment.

He was placed on paid administrative leave Saturday, according to Lyn Simmons, chief of staff for Mayor David Narkewicz. Cronin was not on duty at the time of the incident.

Police received a report of a hit-and-run crash near the intersection of Chestnut and Main streets in Florence around 10:50 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses on scene told officers an SUV was westbound on Main Street when it went through a red light and struck a Volvo before turning down Chestnut Street, Officer Heather Longley wrote in a report.

The driver of the Volvo was evaluated on scene and was uninjured. His car sustained heavy front-end damage to the driver’s side and was towed, Longley wrote.

Officers followed an oil trail from the scene to a driveway on Maple Street where they found Cronin’s GMC Terrain with “heavy front end damage and a trail of oil leading from the roadway into the parking spot,” according to a report by Sgt. Brian Letzeisen.

Police knocked on the door and a resident told them Cronin was not home and allowed police to search the property’s apartment for Cronin, Letzeisen wrote. Unable to find him, police called him on the phone. He told police he was uninjured and walking toward his apartment from Pine and Maple streets, according to Letzeisen’s report.

Arriving at his residence, Cronin allegedly told police “it was all me,” Letzeisen wrote.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Scott Brown: Road to ruin for Northampton schools
Around Amherst: High school sleuths point out $2M mistake in town budget
Mayor’s budget boosts schools 8.5%: Advocates protest coming job cuts as spending falls short of demands
Michigan man indicted on alleged $1M construction fraud of Northampton company
Fire at Rainbow Motel in Whately leaves 17 without a home
Rutherford Platt and Barbara Kirchner: ‘Magical thinking’ in downtown Northampton

Cronin told officers he was coming from South Hadley and prior to that had consumed eight beers that evening, according to the sergeant’s report. Cronin failed two field sobriety tests but was able to successfully complete one. He refused to provide a breath test and was issued a notice of suspension, according to court documents.

After being booked at the station, Cronin allegedly told police he was traveling west on Main Street and had applied his brakes but could not stop before going through the red light and colliding with another vehicle, Letzeisen wrote.

Cronin is a patrol officer with the Northampton Police Department and was sworn in as a full-time officer in December 2014. A Northampton native, Cronin studied criminal justice at Endicott College in Beverly. He previously worked as a private investigator.

He is being represented by attorney Joseph Bernard. Cronin’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 9.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.]]>