Mass. Senator Driven Home By Police Before Hit-And-Run

Cambridge police gave state Sen. Anthony Galluccio a ride home because they were worried he was too drunk to drive about 13 hours before Galluccio was involved in a hit-and-run accident last month.

Police responded to a call of an intoxicated man at a Concord Ave. gas station at about 4:39 a.m. on Oct. 4, according to a police report.

Police said the man, identified as Galluccio, was being detained by the gas station attendant, who felt he was too drunk.

When they arrived, police said they spotted two men standing a by car, one of whom they recognized as Galluccio.

The second man told police he was trying to drive Galluccio home but couldn't find his house. The man gave police a set of keys he said belonged to Galluccio's car, which was parked at a nearby cafe.

Police said they determined that Galluccio's car was not at the gas station and he hadn't been driving the second car, so they decided to drive him home themselves, according to the police report, which was filed on Oct. 29.

The restaurant where Galluccio's car was parked, identified in the report as the Basha Cafe, closes at 1 a.m., according to the cafe's Web site.

Galluccio, D-Cambridge, issued a brief written statement Monday.

"This is an ongoing legal process," he said. "Out of respect to all parties involved, I cannot comment until the process is completed."

About 13 hours later on the same day, a Sunday, a sport utility vehicle driven by Galluccio rear-ended a minivan in Cambridge.

The driver of the minivan, one of four occupants, was taken to the hospital complaining of neck and back pain, according to the accident report.

Witnesses said the SUV fled the scene through a Harvard University driveway. Police were unable to locate it. Witnesses gave them the license plate number and an officer tracked it to Galluccio's home.

At the time, Galluccio said he "panicked" because of his driving history, which includes two drunken driving convictions and another case in which similar charges were weighed after he was involved in a multiple-car accident.

Galluccio said in a statement that he regretted making "a serious error in judgment" when he left the scene.

"When the accident occurred, because of my driving history, I panicked and left the scene. Although I had no reason to believe that there was any injury involved, there is no excuse for leaving the scene of an accident and I deeply regret doing so," he said after the accident was made public.

Police cited him with leaving the scene of an accident causing injury, and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage.

Galluccio has refused to say whether he had been drinking before the crash.

Galluccio was convicted of driving under the influence in 1984, when he was 17, and again in 1997. Former Gov. William F. Weld, a Republican, pardoned him for the first offense.

Galluccio again faced accusations of drunken driving in 2006, amid an aborted campaign for former Sen. Jarrett Barrios' seat. People who had been in three vehicles allegedly struck by him during a December 2005 chain-reaction crash in Boston's financial district said he was drunk at the time.

A Boston Municipal Court clerk magistrate later convened a hearing where he determined there was evidence Galluccio had been drinking but insufficient evidence to charge him with drunken driving.

Galluccio, 42, is a former Cambridge city councilor and mayor. He won a four-way special election in 2007 to replace Barrios after he resigned.

Senate President Therese Murray said after the accident that "nobody should leave the scene of an accident, especially an elected official."

Murray said she would wait until police complete their investigation before deciding whether the Senate should sanction Galluccio.

During the past year, Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, D-Boston, has resigned after being charged with accepting bribes, while Sen. James Marzilli, D-Arlington, has resigned after being charged with making sexual remarks to women on a Lowell street.

This program aired on November 16, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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