WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The case of the Pawtucket police officer on trial for shooting a teenager while off duty is now in the hands of the jury.
Officer Daniel Dolan, 40, is accused of felony assault after shooting then 18-year-old Dominic Vincent outside a West Greenwich pizza shop in June 2021. The shooting was deemed unjustified.
Closing arguments were delivered Wednesday in the days-long trial. The defense reiterated their argument that it was Dolan’s duty to act in what he perceived to be a dangerous situation.
“If he had just ignored it and gone home, and then read the next day that Audi had perhaps killed someone and he did nothing about it, could you imagine if someone knew he was right there?” Michael Colucci, Dolan’s attorney, said.
Prosecutors argued that Dolan acted out of anger—not a sense of duty—when he confronted Vincent.
“He knows he could certainly call 911 to report what’s going on,” Assistant R.I. Attorney General John Corrigan said. “It’s not his responsibility. No one wants a Ford F-350 trying to track down a speeder. Hand it off. State police are all over the place.”
Throughout the trial, jury heard from Vincent, Dolan, several witnesses, and law enforcement.
Before closing arguments were delivered, Superior Court Judge Luis Matos said Dolan had no authority to act as a police officer because he was outside his jurisdiction.
“He must not be given any greater consideration because he was a police officer, nor must he be faulted simply because he was a police officer,” Matos explained.
According to Dolan, he was on his way home when he spotted Vincent speeding on I-95. Dolan claimed he thought Vincent might be fleeing from a crime and followed him into the parking lot.
Surveillance footage shows Vincent’s car pulling into the parking lot before Dolan pulls up in his personal truck beside it. Dolan then gets out of the truck and confronts Vincent, who starts to back his car out of the lot.
Police said Dolan then fired a shot into Vincent’s car, wounding the teenager.
Since Dolan was in plainclothes and driving his personal vehicle, Vincent said he wasn’t aware that Dolan was a police officer.
Dolan has maintained he didn’t do anything criminal that day. He said he felt obligated to act in the name of public safety and only used his gun because he feared for his own safety.
The jury, which began deliberations Wednesday afternoon, is made up of seven women and five men. They will resume deliberations on Thursday.