Boston officer released in case of alleged cruiser misuse

Boston police seek his firing

REVERE — A Boston police officer on paid leave is in trouble with the law for the second time in 10 months after he allegedly took a police cruiser without permission on July 4 and drove to Revere, apparently to the home of a former romantic partner.

Patrick J. Donovan, 38, allegedly retrieved belongings from the home and then went to a nearby nursing home where he demanded medical treatment, officials said.

Donovan was released Monday on his own recognizance after appearing in Dorchester District Court on charges of using a motor vehicle without authority and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, said his defense attorney, Kenneth H. Anderson.


Donovan, who became a Boston police officer in 2002 and was once decorated for heroism on the job, struggles with addiction to the prescription painkiller Percocet and agreed to check into a substance-abuse treatment program at McLean Hospital in Belmont as a condition of his release, Anderson said.

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Boston police officials are seeking to fire Donovan, said Officer Jamie Kenneally, a police spokesman. He said termination proceedings began after Donovan was placed on paid administrative leave last September following allegations that he placed a stolen license plate and stolen registration sticker on his personal vehicle. That case is pending in Dochester District Court.

Donovan’s most recent legal problems go back to Thursday, when a Revere man was granted a restraining order in Chelsea District Court against him, court records show. In court records, the man said he was in a dating relationship with Donovan and feared for his life.

The man did not respond to a telephone message Monday.

On Friday, Boston police Officer Franklyn Centeio saw Donovan at 5 p.m. at District C-11 in Dorchester, where he said he was taking a police cruiser to jump-start a personal vehicle that was broken down, according to a police report filed in Dorchester District Court.


The report said Centeio saw Donovan drive down Park Street toward Freeport Street.

Revere police believe that Donovan then drove the cruiser to the home of the man who sought the restraining order to retrieve some items, Revere police Lieutenant Amy O’Hara said in an e-mail.

At 5:31 p.m., Revere officers were called to that home to escort Donovan from the property, police said.

About an hour after escorting Donovan away, Revere police received a call from Annemark Nursing Home, where Donovan allegedly demanded treatment for a broken foot, the report said.

The episode alarmed nursing home staff, who locked down the facility, the report said. A nurse told police that Donovan was in a “disheveled state” and got into what appeared to be an older Boston police vehicle, the report said.


Boston police later found the cruiser Donovan allegedly took without permission on Minot Street in Dorchester, the report said. He was arrested on the same street. On a booking form, police wrote that he had a broken right foot.

During an interview with police, Donovan allegedly admitted to taking a cruiser, the report said.

After Donovan’s arraignment Monday, his lawyer, Anderson, described him as a decorated Boston police officer and Marine Corps veteran, who has suffered multiple injuries on the job.

Donovan was awarded the Sergeant Richard F. Halloran Medal of Honor for heroic actions during the arrest of an armed gunman in East Boston in August 2005, police said.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at