Off-duty Warwick officer charged in ‘road rage’ incident

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick police confirm one of their own was arrested following an apparent road rage incident.

Warwick Police Chief Rick Rathbun confirmed David Boardman has been charged with disorderly conduct and malicious damage. Boardman was off-duty at the time of the alleged crimes.

Boardman, 27, of Cranston, has been a Warwick police officer since 2016. Rathbun said Boardman has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case and an internal investigation.

The alleged incident took place on July 14 at the intersection of Routes 5 and 113 in Warwick. According to an arrest report obtained by Eyewitness News, four young men were traveling from East Greenwich to Warwick around 1 a.m. when they noticed someone following them.

“Tailgating, beeping at him, high-beaming him,” said the mother of the driver, who did not wish to be identified.

The woman said her son had nowhere to pull over on the one-lane Post Road but when the road widened to two lanes on Greenwich Avenue, the vehicles came to a stop next to each other at a red light.

The police report said one of the passengers in the victims’ car commented on the fact that Boardman had been tailgating them, but the report said the comment wasn’t directed at Boardman and it’s unclear if he heard it.

Boardman then got out of his truck, grabbed the passenger-side window of the car and broke the glass before driving off, according to the report.

Rathbun said he was disappointed to see this case cross his desk.

“I have an expectation that the officers of the police department comport themselves professionally and in a controlled manner at all times whether on or off duty,” he said.

The driver’s mother said she is proud of how her son handled the situation.

“It’s disturbing as a parent that those that take vows to protect and serve in any fashion could do this when they’re supposed to be role models,” she said.

Eyewitness News attempted to reach Boardman by phone; a man who answered said Boardman did not want to comment.

Boardman was issued a summons to appear in court at a later date.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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