Wrong turn leads to arrest

A wrong turn into a Chilmark police officer’s driveway led to an investigation and the arrest of an Oak Bluffs man on various charges.

Chilmark police officer Jeff Day was at home off South Road when a Silver GMC Yukon with four men inside pulled into his driveway at 11:25 pm. Mr. Day was familiar with the vehicle, according to a police report, based on an earlier call in which a person claimed that the occupants had spotlighted deer early that morning.

Mr. Day left his house and followed the Yukon as it left his driveway. Later, assisted by West Tisbury police, he stopped the vehicle. Inside he found two muzzle-loading rifles. The operator of the vehicle, William J. Bernard of Oak Bluffs, had a 12-gauge shotgun buckshot shell in his pocket.

“A search of the vehicle turned up another 12-gauge 00 buckshot live round between the front passenger seat and the center console,” Mr. Day wrote in his report. “There was one 12-gauge slug found in the center console. In addition, there were three spotlights and one Mag light found in the vehicle.”

Officer Day issued Mr. Bernard a citation for marked lanes violation, possession of firearms ammunition without a FID card and trespass with a motor vehicle.

Because Mr. Bernard is subject to an existing restraining order issued by Maine and is not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition, Chilmark Police followed up on the traffic stop. An informant told police that Mr. Bernard had a crossbow and claimed to have shot 22 deer this season, according to the police report.

On December 6, police executed a search warrant at Mr. Bernard’s house in Oak Bluffs and confiscated a crossbow, three shotgun shells, and a Seboxin pill, a drug used in the treatment of opiate addiction. Police arrested Mr. Bernard for violation of an out-of-state restraining order, possession of firearms ammunition without an FID card, and distribution of a class B drug.