Authorities on Thursday released a body camera video from a February arrest in Texas of the man who allegedly caused a horrific crash that killed seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire last week.
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, of West Springfield racked up a lengthy list of driving infractions, crashes, and arrests in recent years in multiple states. But the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles never revoked his commercial driver’s license despite a recent drunken driving arrest in Connecticut, leading to the resignation of the top RMV official.
In one case, on Feb. 11, Zhukovskyy was arrested at a Denny’s restaurant in Baytown, Texas, along Interstate 10, Lieutenant Steve Dorris told the Globe this week.
Police provided body camera video footage from that incident Thursday.
Dorris said police were called to the restaurant around 2 a.m. after Zhukovskyy showed strange behavior while seated at the counter.
“He was talking to himself, like he was talking to someone next to him, but no one was there,” Dorris said. Zhukovskyy was unsteady on his feet and his pupils were dilated, Dorris said.
Officers said it was “pretty clear he was intoxicated,” Dorris said. They found Zhukovskyy was carrying a crack pipe, and he was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
In the body cam video, as officers approach Zhukovskyy inside the mostly empty restaurant, he’s standing next to a bar-style seating area wearing a blue T-shirt, with black headphones around his neck and black athletic pants.
“How you doing, officers?” Zhukovskyy says. “I’ve got to go to sleep, OK?”
As the officers get closer, Zhukovskyy begins fidgeting before pulling out his wallet and handing his license to an officer.
“You guys scared me,” Zhukovskyy says. “I’m sorry, guys. I’m just tired. I need to go to sleep.”
“I didn’t sleep like this whole day. I was out there working. I’m a truck driver. My truck is parked outside,” Zhukovskyy says. “I’m sorry, officers, if I did something wrong.”
“My truck is right there at the pumps,” he says, pointing.
An officer then begins to question Zhukovskyy, asking whether he took any drugs.
“I didn’t take anything. I just need to get sleep because I didn’t get sleep. I’m tired,” Zhukovskyy says, repeatedly denying officers’ questions about if he’d consumed any narcotics.
“I didn’t take anything, officers,” Zhukovskyy says, exasperated. “I was working the whole day.”
An officer points out to Zhukovskyy how he keeps moving. Zhukovskyy insists it’s just because he’s scared.
In a second body cam clip, an officer empties Zhukovskyy’s pockets pulling out two lighters, a wallet, lip balm, a package of cigarettes, one other object, and a small cylindrical tube. The officer calls out “crack pipe.”