WARWICK, R.I. — A Pawtucket school resource officer pleaded not guilty Friday to four felony charges for shooting a teenage driver outside a pizza parlor in West Greenwich last month.
Patrolman Daniel Dolan Jr. was arraigned at Kent County Superior Court on three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one of using a firearm — his .40 caliber police weapon — while committing a crime of violence.
The three teenage boys involved in the incident sat in the front row and watched as the police officer walked up to face the judge.
Magistrate John McBurney III set bail at $25,000 personal recognizance. He ordered Dolan not to have contact with any of the three teenagers and said he must surrender his firearms to the state police.
“We are pleased to see the attorney general has begun this process, and we’re confident in the abilities and efforts of the attorney general’s office to see that this really sad, sad affair is brought to justice,” the teenagers’ lawyer, James P. Howe, said outside the courthouse.
He said he thought Dolan’s bail was “very consistent with bail guidelines in this state.”
Dolan’s lawyer, Michael J. Colucci, also spoke outside the courthouse, as his client stood by quietly.
“Officer Dolan has spent the better part of the last 17 years serving and protecting, as a United States Marine and as a police officer for the city of Pawtucket, and that’s exactly what he was doing that evening.”
Dolan was off-duty and nearly 30 miles outside of his jurisdiction on June 23 when he accosted three West Greenwich teenagers in their car outside Wicked Good Pizza. He told investigators that he’d seen their Audi speed by him on Route 95 — a state police analysis found the car had been going about 110 miles an hour — and followed to “speak to the operator.”
The teens told investigators they were stopping to pick up a pizza and never noticed Dolan until he swerved his white pickup truck toward their car in the restaurant parking lot.
Dolan wasn’t in uniform, and they didn’t realize he was a police officer when he jumped out of his truck and came toward them, holding something in his hand, they told investigators.
They just saw his gun. As the driver, 18-year-old Dominic Vincent, tried to pull away, Dolan followed their car on foot and yelled that he was going to shoot him — and then fired through the driver’s side window. Vincent’s upper left arm was shattered, according to Howe.
The bullet missed Vincent’s friends, brothers Vincent Greco, 18, and Joseph Greco, 17.
Investigators found that Dolan had consumed half a beer during his drive home; his blood-alcohol content registered 0.00.
Dolan is now on unpaid leave from the Pawtucket Police Department, where he has worked since 2015, following his father onto the job. He is a school resource officer at Slater Middle School and works in the community policing unit.
According to Pawtucket Police Department policy, officers who are off duty are responsible for immediately reporting any suspected or observed criminal activities to on-duty officers. Off-duty officers may not make an arrest solely for minor traffic regulations.
A Pawtucket city councilwoman said she had warned Mayor Donald Grebien and Police Chief Tina Goncalves that Dolan was aggressive with residents on the street.
The mayor and chief did not respond to question from the Globe about how those complaints were addressed.