West Tisbury police officer Russell Ventura resigns

The 2006 Honda CRV rolled at least once and sustained massive damage, police said. — Photo courtesy of Edgartown Poli

Under the shadow of his arraignment on charges related to an automobile accident, Officer Russell Ventura resigned from the West Tisbury Police Department.

In a letter dated February 11 and addressed to Chief Dan Rossi, Mr. Ventura said he would always appreciate “the professional development, training, and guidance” he had received over the past several years.

“This was not an easy decision for me, however, after many hours of consideration, it is the best decision at this time. I wish you and the department every great fortune,” Mr. Ventura said.

Meeting Wednesday night, West Tisbury selectmen Cynthia Mitchell and Richard Knabel voted to accept Mr. Ventura’s resignation on the recommendation of Chief Rossi. Selectman Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter, a West Tisbury police sergeant, abstained.

Mr. Ventura appeared in Edgartown District Court on Tuesday, February 18, to be arraigned on charges of operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and marked lanes violations, in connection witha single-car accident on January 16, that sent the off-duty West Tisbury officer to the hospital and left his vehicle a complete wreck.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the date of Mr. Ventura’s scheduled arraignment as March 19. He was arraigned on February 18.