PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A member of the Pawtucket City Council claims she previously raised concerns about Daniel Dolan, the Pawtucket police officer who is accused of shooting a teenager in the arm in West Greenwich last week.
Dolan was off-duty at the time, and he’s now on administrative leave pending the outcome of a state investigation.
Councilwoman Melissa DaRosa said Tuesday she has received complaints about Dolan from multiple people in the community, adding that she also has her own concerns about him.
DaRosa said those complaints, the first of which came about two years ago, had to do with Dolan being overly aggressive in his tone and approach with people.
“Two and a half years ago, I had encounters with him where I just felt like his energy and tone were wrong,” she said. “Some people in the community have concerns with interactions they have with him.”
Dolan is now under scrutiny after three teenagers were reportedly “terrorized” by the officer while going to pick up a pizza last Wednesday, according to James Howe, a lawyer representing the teens.
During the incident, part of which was captured on surveillance video, Dolan allegedly approached the teens’ vehicle and fired a single gunshot, striking 18-year-old Dominic Vincent in the arm.
Howe said Dolan’s actions were unprovoked and the teens had “no previous engagement” with him prior to what was seen in the surveillance footage.
Dolan’s attorney, Michael J. Colucci, said that while he could not comment in detail about the ongoing investigation, he released the following statement to 12 News:
“In various circumstances, police officers, even when off-duty, are expected to take action if they can, when they see something afoot,” Colucci wrote. “We respect the active investigation currently taking place by law enforcement officials and, as such, cannot offer any details at this time. However, having read local media accounts as expressed by counsel for the injured party, I can say such accounts are highly disputed.”
Councilor DaRosa said she spoke to both Pawtucket Police Chief Tina Goncalves and Mayor Donald Grebien about Dolan at the time, but claims nothing was ever done.
“I have expressed concerns about some of his behavior,” she added. “I feel like if they had listened to us, we would have been able to tone him down a little bit.”
12 News reached out to the Pawtucket Police Department several times on Tuesday regarding DaRosa’s complaints and have yet to hear back.
Emily Rizzo, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, released a statement Monday, saying: “We are all saddened and concerned when there is an officer-involved incident such as this. When anyone, including members of the council, reach out regarding police officers, there is a regulated internal investigation process that is followed.”
12 News confirmed the city has hired an outside attorney in the event the police department pursues disciplinary action against Dolan.