New Year’s Eve was mostly quiet, a little splashy


On a warm and mild New Year’s Eve, Martha’s Vineyard revelers were generally well-behaved. Police across the Island reported the night was quiet and three arrests made Friday night were for operating under the influence (OUI).

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital emergency department reported no injuries of the sort most often associated with the holiday eve.

Steamship Authority (SSA) employees did fish a man out of the water on New Year’s Eve; it happened this way:

Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, said the Martha’s Vineyard arrived at the Vineyard Haven terminal at 8:15 pm and docked in the north slip. As a result, passengers debarked on the south side of the vessel.

Michael Grekwizc of Warwick, R.I. decided to exit the ferry wearing rollerblades. “He came down the ramp and then did a 360 [degree] turn and lost his balance and went over the netting that was across the opening on the elevated platform,” Mr. Lamson said. “So he ended up in slip one.”

Mr. Lamson said the crew reacted quickly and threw two life rings and a life vest to Mr. Grekwizc. Another employee lowered the transfer bridge as low as possible, allowing the man to climb up on it and out of the frigid water.

The resulting commotion led to a delay in loading the boat for her departure. Mr. Lamson said there was about a 20-minute delay in departure.

Mr. Lamson said he was thankful no employees and the man were not injured. He said any accident involving the water is a serious matter particularly in the winter.

Asked if he contemplated any changes in policy, Mr. Lamson said there are not enough signs and rules to enforce common sense.

Police matters

Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are generally the centers of celebratory activity. In Edgartown, police chief Tony Bettencourt said there were no holiday-related arrests.

In Oak Bluffs, there was only one arrest. “We were extremely quiet,” Lt. Tim Williamson said.

Late on Friday afternoon, Oak Bluffs police stopped Colleen Drew, 45, of Chilmark after an officer said her vehicle swerved out of the marked lanes as she drove along Sea View Avenue near Harthaven.

Police arrested Ms. Drew for operating under the influence of alcohol, having an open container of alcohol in her vehicle, negligent operation, and marked lanes violations.

Tisbury police chief Dan Hanavan said Tisbury police arrested two drivers for operating under the influence of alcohol early on the morning of January 1.

Around 2 am he said, Officer Joseph Ballotte watched as the operator of a Mitsubishi Montero with a tail light out drove into Five-corners and took a left onto Lagoon Pond Road. In the process, the operator struck the curb with the car’s right-side tires and crossed the yellow line, police said.

Officer Ballotte arrested Bonnie Menton, 60, of Vineyard Haven for OUI, a marked lanes violation, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Later that morning at 2:30 am, Sgt. Rodney Silvia was parked on Beach Road when a Ford Ranger pick-up truck shot by at a speed of 49 miles per hour in a 20 mph zone, police said.

Sergeant Silvia followed as the truck turned left onto Lagoon Pond Road and turned right into the driveway of a house just past the post office. Sergeant Silvia pulled into the driveway in his cruiser as the operator of the truck exited.

Chief Hanavan said the operator crouched down and snuck around to the passenger side of the truck in an attempt to hide from the officer and make his way towards the back door of the house. Sgt. Silvia ordered the man to stop.

He then placed Wellington Ramos, 24, of Vineyard Haven in handcuffs. Oak Bluffs police responded to assist because officer Ballotte was transporting Ms. Menton to the Dukes County jail.

When Oak Bluffs police arrived, a field sobriety test was conducted. Mr. Ramos failed. Chief Hanavan said Mr. Ramos told officers he was an illegal alien from Brazil and that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued a detainer that advises police to hold an individual in custody.

Chief Hanavan said the sheriff’s department confirmed the detainer order. Police arrested Mr. Ramos for OUI, negligent operation, speeding, and failure to stop for a police officer.

Mr. Ramos is being held without bail in the Dukes County Jail pending his arraignment on Thursday, January 6, when an interpreter will be present.

Aquinnah police chief Rhandi Belain and Chilmark police chief Brian Cioffi had the same answer when asked about the premier party night: “Pretty quiet.”

Earlier in the day Chief Cioffi and officer Sean Slavin accompanied a Coast Guard crew sent from Station Menemsha to pick up two young men who escaped in a stolen rowboat from a juvenile institution for troubled boys located on Penikese Island.

The boys were transported back to Menemsha Harbor where State Police placed them under arrest, State Police trooper Dave Parent said.

Mr. Parent said State Police patrolled and assisted Island police on New Year’s eve but there was little else to report.

West Tisbury Police Chief Daniel Rossi echoed his colleagues. “It was very quiet in West Tisbury,” he said. “We had a few cars patrolling all night long on New Year’s Eve, and there was not much of anything going on.”