WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of a Pawtucket police officer accused of shooting an 18-year-old driver while off duty.
Officer Daniel Dolan maintains he was acting in the interest of public safety after seeing the driver speeding on the highway, but he faces several charges including felony assault because the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office found the shooting was not justified.
The victim, Dominic Vincent, returned to the stand Thursday. The defense pressed Vincent on whether he remembered any of the vehicles he passed on the highway before pulling into the parking lot where the incident took place, including Dolan’s pickup truck. Vincent said he didn’t recall what vehicles he may have passed or if anyone appeared to be following him.
Surveillance video from the West Greenwich pizza shop where it happened showed Dolan’s truck pull up beside Vincent’s car before Dolan exited the truck and stepped in front of Vincent’s car.
Vincent, now 20 years old, testified that he didn’t see Dolan’s truck until then. The defense, however, argued that contradicted Vincent’s original witness account given to police when he was in a hospital bed in June 2021.
Vincent claimed he doesn’t remember most of his original statement, saying he was under sedatives and pain relievers since the bullet had not yet been removed from his arm.
Following the shooting, Dolan told investigators he followed Vincent’s car believing he was involved in a high-speed pursuit, even though there were no police around.
Vincent said he didn’t know at the time that Dolan, who was dressed in plainclothes, was a police officer and that the badge he displayed was real. It was then that he tried to drive off and Dolan fired a single shot into the car.
Dolan’s defense team says their client believed he was going to be run over and opened fire purely out of self defense.
Story continues below video.
Vincent’s two passengers, brothers Joseph and Vincent Greco, were next to take the stand. They were cross-examined about their perspective of what happened that day.
The defense claimed state police analyzed video evidence that showed Vincent was driving more than 100 mph on I-95 South before he took the exit in West Greenwich.
Joseph Greco, who was in the back seat, testified that while he could tell they were going fast, there were “no hard movements in the vehicle.”
Vincent Greco, who was in the front passenger seat, said he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, other than that the car moving fast. He recalled that once Dolan’s truck stopped abruptly beside them in the parking lot that something was off about Dolan.
“That he was upset … that there was a problem,” Vincent Greco replied when asked what he perceived.
The court presented sketches that each brother gave the night of the shooting, which showed how Dolan’s truck looked next to theirs.
“We were just going to pick up a pizza,” Joseph Greco said. “We didn’t feel, or at least I didn’t know what, you know … I didn’t feel like we did anything wrong.”
The trial is expected to pick back up on Friday.
12 News will be there and bring you continuing coverage both on air and online.