O.B. cop resigns following Tisbury crash

‘Intoxication’ signs detected by police; field sobriety, breath tests allegedly refused.


Updated Sept. 21

An Oak Bluffs Police officer has resigned after being charged by Tisbury Police with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and a marked lanes violation.

Tisbury Police and the Dukes County Sheriff’s reports allege Noah Stobie refused field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test at an accident scene, and a Breathalyzer test at the Dukes County Jail. The reports were obtained through court records after Tisbury Acting Police Chief Christopher Habekost refused to release them, and referred questions to the district attorney’s office.

“Officer Stobie has resigned from the OBPD effective immediately,” Oak Bluffs Police Chief Erik Blake wrote in a text to The Times late Friday afternoon. 

Stobie was arraigned before Edgartown District Court Judge John Julian Thursday morning. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Stobie’s attorney, James Milligan, wasn’t present in the courtroom. Reached later on Thursday, Milligan declined to comment on the case. 

On Monday afternoon, Tisbury Police, Fire and EMS responded to a crash scene on Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road involving a Toyota Highlander and a Ford F150 pickup truck towing an enclosed trailer. The crash scene was located near the entrance to the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground. The SUV and the trailer sustained damage. Stobie was identified as the operator of the Highlander, according to a Tisbury Police report. A witness told Tisbury Police officers he was traveling behind the Highlander “for several minutes” and observed it “swerving back and forth up until the crash.”

Stobie allegedly told Tisbury Police “he was returning from playing golf,” and while in the vicinity of the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground he “briefly glanced at his vehicle[‘s] radio to change the channel, causing him to pass over the yellow line and strike the trailer,” a report states.

Tisbury Police Officer Pierce Harrer detected “the odor of an alcoholic beverage” coming from Stobie, according to a report.

“As he spoke, his speech was thick-tongued and slurred, and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot,” a report states. Stobie allegedly told Tisbury Police he had “consumed two beers while playing golf,” according to a report. 

Officer Harrer alleged Stobie would not submit to a field sobriety test or a preliminary breath test. 

Habekost told The Times Stobie was arrested at the scene. Nobody was taken to the hospital from the scene by ambulance, according to Tisbury Fire Chief Greg Leland. 

Stobie’s driver’s license was confiscated at the Dukes County Jail, according to a report. 

Stobie had been placed on leave from the Oak Bluffs Police Department earlier in the week, ahead of his resignation. Chief Blake wrote in a text message that he intended to bring the officer’s arrest before the select board in an executive session, but that was before Stobie resigned.

Stobie was not on duty at the time of the crash.

Updated to include details from the police report. 


  1. Jeesh. Glad nobody was hurt… but what a disgrace. This is what my taxpayer dollars are funding? Such nonsense. This wasn’t a question as to if it would happen, but when. I am always surprised that the ONLY time cops get bopped with an OUI here is when there is an accident involved. This “officer”has been around long enough to know better! I’m sorry but that fancy lawyer isn’t going to fix this for you, he didn’t even show up to the arraignment. Blake better call that meeting with the selectman ASAP. The entire island is watching to see what happens next thanks to the Times reporting on this matter.

    • You are correct the police on this island and their family get away with drunk driving all the time. And sometimes even when there is an accident they still get away with it. Sad but true the blue line does exist.

      • Police families too? How about the fire dept. and their families? Are all town employees and families drunk or just police ?

      • Bob you are correct the police in the US and their families get away with drunk driving all the time. And sometimes even when there is an accident they still get away with it. Sad but true the blue line does exist through out the lands. it is all part of American Exceptionalism.

    • I haven’t heard of the island police being so drunk. How do you know this? A town police cruiser was not involved in this accident, so your taxpayer dollars are safe in that area.
      As for the “fancy” lawyer comment, I believe EVERYONE is encouraged to have a lawyer when going to court, guilty or not.

  2. I’m not understanding those remarks. Has officer Stobie been in trouble before? I don’t recall hearing or reading his name in the news.
    These young men are “ officers”, and I believe in “innocent until proven guilty”
    Kathleen Tilton chilmark

  3. And when the names and vehicle numbers were run during this accident, the officers name wars not broadcast, and know we know why. The Thin Blue Line gang at work.

    • I mean, the Tisbury Police arrested and charged him. Unless you run the dispatch center, you can’t speak to the non-radio routes of communication used to “run” a plate. It’s 2021, wake up & respect that there was accountability regardless of a metaphorical line.

  4. If we’re to study driving accidents, and what demographic ‘gets away with it’ NOT being reported in the paper more?
    I don’t think that line is ‘blue’ I think that line is ‘green’ as in wealthy.
    But that’s just my observation.

  5. Noah Stobie needs to plead the “Aquinnah PD Belain Defence”
    That is the one where you tell responding Officers, “It’s my birthday!” , then claim the front seat of the TPD cruiser for your pleasant drive home.

    • I would comment on your Crap James Kozak but your Handler George Brennan will not post what I say….. BE THANKFUL !

      • Darren, just write the truth, you will always be published.
        And as to my “Handler”, Brennan has almost without fail published compliments and strong criticisms towards the Times.
        Try the truth sometimes, it works.

      • Darren, I am going guess that very few people will publish your twaddle, beyond Trump Train News and the like.
        “We are thankful.

  6. You people wouldn’t be even talking about this if a POLICE OFFICER wasn’t involved.The police are running scared of people like you (THE HATERS) so I wouldn’t be surprised if they locked him up even if he only had a few drinks. It’s Because of potential innuendo like this. The last time I checked the last perfect person was hung on the cross. I believe JUDAS was also a HATER! Christ wasn’t given the chance of being innocent until proven guilty!!!!

    • Drunk driving is all over the local media.
      The police are running scared.
      Scared that they will be held accountable for criminal behavior.
      The are real scared that they could end up like Derrick Chauvin.
      The primary reason that so many cops get shot is that they shoot, and maim, so many people.
      Not that I don’t recognize the the danger a cop is in when presented with an un-armed, half naked black man fifty feet away and running away as fast as he can.
      In this situation it is perfectly appropriate to empty your clip, and a second if he is still twitching.
      You have no no idea how painfully embarrassing it is for a cop to let one of “those” people get away.
      Oh the shame of it all.

    • A few drinks?
      Was that the officers story?
      Would you believe a story about alcohol from someone who had a few?
      A few at home a few at the Ritz, a few at the Ocean View, just one at the PA club?
      A few drinks (4) puts most people well over .08.
      The short story should be, he got drunk, he got into an accident, he gave the appearances of intoxication, he flunked the field sobriety tests, he was arrested and processed, as a first time offender he is released the next morning on personal recognizance.
      If you are a cop and didn’t hit anything the cops can give you a ride home and then give your girlfriend a ride to pick up you car.
      Standard Police Union perks.
      That criminality is coming to an end.
      They are under the microscope.
      In not small part do to the death of George Floyd.
      A new wave cops is coming.
      One’s who actually get the social responsibility of policing.
      It is not about us against “them”
      It is about us, all of us.

    • Eddie — Christ was far from perfect.
      Jesus was given a trial — two of them actually– He was convicted of a capitol crime and executed according to the laws of the time.
      Judas didn’t hate Jesus– he sold Jesus out for a fair amount of money, regretted it, tried to give the money back, and then was so despondent he hung himself.
      You should really learn a little about the bible before you interject the name of Jesus into something like this..

  7. He swore an oath to protect society. He is a police officer and therefore is held to a higher level of accountability. He is not some child who does not know better, he is an adult who now must face the consequences of his own poor decision making. Society does not need its constabulary to fail in this manner, he should no longer be allowed to wear a badge or carry a gun, his ability to make good decisions is lacking. Taxpayers do not need to be burdened with an employee who doesn’t understand the fundamental issues of police work.

  8. I guess things like “due process” and “presumption of innocence” no longer apply on Martha’s Vineyard. Sad!

    • Kathleen, are you a relative of this drunk driver who lost control of his vehicle?
      Only a relative would be this adamant about trying to protect the reputation of this “officer”. Sorry but it’s a little late for that. You’re not a regular commenter on here so that is puzzling. What also doesn’t make any sense is that Stobie resigned before getting terminated in somehow thinking that would look better on his resume.

    • Driving a car while completely sober, awake, and paying attention should be common sense, and yet we continue to see reckless behavior from those who selfishly do otherwise. There’s nothing smart about risking or taking lives.

    • There is intelligent life out there.
      This dirty copper was smart enough to resign because he was driving drunk and hit something.
      He resigned so quickly, has he had other issues with drinking and driving?

  9. Noah Stobie is one of the most squared away , honest , kind , helpful Police Officers on the Island. He was not drunk. It would be a crime to not have Him as an Officer on MV. Police are having a difficult time these days and they are human. I believe some of you commenters leave your restaurants half in the bag and are lucky to make it home. Also , the MV times has a habit of exaggerating and damaging people s lives.

    • I would hate to follow your logic parade for that statement Wayne! So far we have ‘other’ officers crossing the ‘blue line’ and arresting someone they suspect as drunk driving….how sure are you they are wrong? Or are you just sticking up for a Buddy?

      • Anthony, we have officers snatching innocent persons off the streets, handcuffing, transporting to jail. All because proper verification was too much of a bother.
        I am sure those rogue police were as innocent as those they outrageously arrested.

    • Wayne did you see any results of his drunk tests?
      Only a damn fool would say that that someone was not drunk when they were not there
      The Vineyard does not need anymore drinking policeman.
      I guess that because people drive drunk that cops should get a pass doing the same?
      I get it, is hard to accept that a friend yours respect and admire gets busted for drunk driving.
      That does not make him special.

      If he wasn’t drunk then why did he resign?
      Was he concerned that something in his past would comes to light.
      Why didn’t he fight it?
      He knew he couldn’t beat the rap?

      • Did you see the results of the tests? I can guarantee you did not.Only a fool would say someone was drunk when they weren’t there. We’re you there? Why don’t you do some research and find out why he resigned? You can share that info please. You can probably call the OB Police Dept and get the answers to your questions. You know what is said about ASSUMING . You don’t like that others are commenting without facts, and you shouldn’t either.

        • From the Gazette:

          “Mr. Harrer [an officer] said in the report that he detected an odor of alcohol on Mr. Stobie’s breath, and that he showed other signs of intoxication.
          “I asked Mr. Stobie if he had consumed any alcohol. Mr. Stobie stated he had consumed two beers while playing golf,” the report states.

          Mr. Stobie refused field sobriety tests and a breath test, according to the report.”

          These are the facts according to the police. We should focus on them. Not on Jesus or whatever hysterical deflection strategy someone wants to try today.

          Except it’s hard to focus on the results of tests that a totally innocent, sober man refused to take.

    • It would be a crime to employ a cop who drives drunk and hits things.
      Sober cops, even when involved in an accident, do not resign.

  10. I am an American citizen , I said I believe in ‘“ innocent until proven guilty”
    I don’t know if Mr. Stobie was under the influence or not. I wasn’t there, I didn’t see the accident, I wasn’t a witness. I don’t have to be a relative to believe in fairness and our judicial system, and I’m sorry to see Anthony’s
    Comments going downhill. I don’t think our officers make 100k. Maybe more like 32 to start? I ‘m going to check that.
    It’s pathetic this story has attracted so much attention when Tisbury harbor was just polluted by illegal pumps, and vineyard wind is hoping to ruin the harbor by moving big business in. There are much bigger problems to solve.
    I don’t see what’s puzzling about commenting, is it a club I can’t join?
    I respect our police departments ,our officers. I know they are there if I dial 911.

    • This former officer’s mother is all over social media whining about the story as if he’s a victim. Hard not to notice her last name after reading these comments back to back.

      It’s not pathetic to be concerned about drinking and driving or preventable accidents. It’s basic decency and respect for community, two things any worthwhile officer should have in spades. What’s pathetic is the dismissal of recklessness. Do you know how many lives have been taken or ruined by such drivers on MV alone? Potential matters of life and death deserve scrutiny and a strong reaction. You can point to other Island concerns and say “look over here!”, but that won’t make the importance of this matter go away.

      By the grace of God or luck, depending on what you believe, this incident didn’t end as tragically as it could’ve for innocent people on the road. That’s not a credit to the man involved. He will get his day in Edgartown and, if past outcomes are anything to go by, his slap on the wrist if guilty. American courts take these cases about as seriously as you do. That doesn’t make it remotely right.

      His mother would like us to believe the paper needs to write an article about the good he’s supposedly done. Why? That’s not how news works. No one is owed a glowing front page to balance out alleged illegal behavior. If you mind your business and conduct yourself like a civilized adult, you’ll rarely end up featured in an embarrassing story. People around here continue to break the law and then get upset with everyone else for responding. Personal responsibility doesn’t come into the picture. Every drunk driver I’ve ever heard from, even those who smugly admit they did it, has felt victimized by the legal process and bad (but factual) press. It was “so hard on them. Folks are so judgmental.” Not one second of remorse or accountability for the disgustingly selfish thing they chose to do, and that is why this problem never ends.

      I find it odd that an innocent man would resign before matters are settled, but who knows. If he’s guilty, it’s for the best. We don’t need officers who endanger lives. No one has the right to do that, cop or not.

    • No Wayne you comments never are.
      Has anyone in your family been injured by a drunk driver?
      Drunk cop.
      Oh the outrage.

  11. I do not know this young officer. I believe that he should be mandated to attend rehab. I don’t believe that he should have resigned. If he makes a commitment to change, he should be given a second chance.

    When I think of all of the cover ups in the different police and fire departments, I’m appalled that he’s being treated this way. He’s probably dreamed of being a police officer since he was young. People that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Tisbury sure covered up for the police chief in Aquinnah. There are always cover ups on this Island.

    I’m only going along with these thoughts if he wants to change his life and way of living.

    • If he chose to break the law instead of upholding it, that is on him, no one else. We’re responsible for protecting our own goals.

  12. If one happens to be in the throws of their Disease of Alcoholism, anyone, they should not be punished. Criminalizing this disease helps NO ONE. What a great time for Intervention into Education and possible TREATMENT for the DISEASE OF ALCOHOLISM…As was mentioned, REHAB.

    • No one proposes he be punished for drinking; endangering others is the issue.
      As for the publicity…entirely predictable when considering the image of cops that has been shoved down our throats ad nauseum, that of selfless, dependable servants of the public, exemplary citizens etc. If cops want to continue enjoying this image, they had better damned well learn how to “walk the walk”; a commendable demonstration would be: when “drinking the drink”…call a cab.

    • Anyone so young should be allowed 1 mistakes in their career nobody should be held accountable for something they did when they are younger make them work as a ticket cop until his respect is earned again and then go from there you don’t want to be judged by a police officer that’s never made a mistake cause they’re the worst. You can hold accountable a 45 year old man over a 25 year starting out in life. Don’t hold our police accountable for cops off island they’re not the same that’s for sure our cops don’t shoot people there pretty kind compared to the rest of the world. That why we live here to have a tight community. If People in our community can’t recover from a mistake then why not go postal. And make it permanent. That was a wise crack don’t take it literally please. Examples always need to be made, but make it with the thought of it can be fixed someday

  13. How many times a year does an Islander drive drunk, percentage wise?
    Cops are Islanders too.
    I am surprised that there are so few drunk cop arrests.
    The Thin Blue Line?
    Professional courtesy?

  14. It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. You people need to get a grip and work for the good, try and help and create. Always trying to destroy, silly humans, you reap what you sow. ALL OF YOU ACCOMPLISH NOTHING!

  15. Read the court report in this paper. Anyone who is arrested gets into the court report.. Guilty or not… The original article merely states that there was an accident and he was arrested.
    Standard operating procedure.

  16. Any of you intelligent people ever been slapped in the face by an air bag and then try to walk a straight line ?? Protocol is to resign until proven innocent. A special officer only gets paid around 30,000 a year.

  17. Some of you people really need to get a life. You have nothing better to do then criticize everyone. Get out and enjoy life. Sept is a great month. Leave the poor guy alone. He is innocent though.

    • Would it be difficult to take a breath test because of an airbag? Do airbags cause a person to show multiple signs of intoxication that can be noted by two trained officers?

      Next someone will bring up the actual Twinkie defense.

  18. everybody it’s capable of mistakes we are all humans. I don’t agree to go against Law officer for one mistakes every single day a tourist or a island resident does some stupid mistakes on the road as drinking or selfishness on the road . As long time living on this island I never heard nothing bad about this officer and I’m sure he did a lot of good things for our community

    • We should hold cops to a lower standard?
      How many people who have done good things for the community has this cop busted for drunk driving?

  19. The Officer did not take the breathalyzer test Why the constant babble about this ? There are so many important things going on out there. The Island is going down the drain. I don’t think any of you so called commenters are from the Island. And looking at some of the times of posting really make me wonder.

    • The Island already went downhill if we’re explicitly brushing off crashes of this nature as no big deal. Read the update to this article from yesterday. Read what the arresting officer had to say about Stobie’s condition. Now find one valid excuse or explanation.

      What’s more important than keeping the roads safe? You say there’s a long list. Then provide one. I’d love to know what has had more of a devastating effect than auto accidents or why it’s even a competition. There are many trivial topics that are discussed on this site with great passion. I don’t see you overreacting to any of those. Just this. It’s almost like Stobie’s friends and family decided the best defense is a bitter, finger-pointing offense.

      You can’t defend against the allegations so you repeatedly try to attack other commenters, grasping at straws. A man who allegedly showed signs of intoxication also allegedly caused a crash and you’re busy noting what time of the day folks leave comments? Seriously? If you don’t understand by now why some of us treat drinking and driving as a vital issue, I can’t help you. That’s a willful choice, and no amount of childish nastiness will distract from or erase why this matters. It will always matter until it’s a thing of the past, an outcome I no longer hold out any hope for.

      If you’re so much more of a real Islander than the rest of us, whatever that means, surely you saw the articles this year about a horrific accident that took the life of a young woman. Do you care? It’s for her and for everyone else who knows this pain that we speak up. I’ve known several of the deceased or injured throughout the years. Put down your phones, watch the road, don’t drive high, don’t drink and drive, take a cab, or just stay home if you can’t be bothered to protect innocent people.

      If you can honestly find fault with what I just said, you have no right complaining about the decaying state of the Vineyard. Asking people to be careful and smart while driving is not a tall order.

  20. Stobie admitted “2” beers. That’s what he admitted. It was 2 in the afternoon. I’ve counted 3 family members commenting here (who failed to disclose they are mother, aunt, and uncle of the accused) who are lashing out against this arrest and the community’s justified reaction to the recklessness of drinking and driving. When a full time police officer spends his off-duty, free time drinking early in the day and then gets behind the wheel of a car, it’s definitely time for him to resign. Let’s not forget all the drunk driving tragedies we’ve endured. Minimizing the seriousness and selfish, reckless stupidity of driving after drinking is partly why the island culture manufactures substance abusers at such a high rate. The enabling excuses: everyone-does-it, he-was-off-duty, it’s-exaggerated, it’s-relatively-unimportant, he’s-a-nice-person, but-the-airbag, he-wasn’t-drunk, and lashing-out-against-commenters and/or MVTimes—all nonsense. Don’t drink and drive. If you do, you deserve the consequences, and your family and friends need to understand this. Just be grateful Stobie didn’t kill anyone.

    • Thanks, Jackie. You absolutely said it best. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to grasp what’s at stake. 😔 I had the same thought about how enabling some of these reactions are. That’s the only word for it.

    • Ms Diaz. No one is saying it was wrong to arrest. We are admonishing you commenters for saying so many derogatory, insulting , nasty things about this officer when. You have no idea what happened.

      • Oh, please. Who is witnessed swerving back and forth while driving, then gets in an accident, smells of alcohol by the responding police, has slurred, thick-tonged speech, glassy eyes, refuses breath and field sobriety tests and then a breathalyzer at the jail, and admits to drinking “2” beers early in the day? A drunk driver, that’s who. It’s not rocket science.

      • It’s a lie to say we have no idea. You just don’t want to admit to the unflattering firsthand accounts. His family has insisted that police officers be respected, no exceptions. Well, we have the word of the responding officers about what they witnessed. Aren’t we supposed to believe police? Okay. I believe what was written in that report. Imagine complaining about nastiness while dishing it out and while far more important things are on the line. There is absolutely nothing kind about drinking and driving or downplaying its potential destruction. In fact, it’s cruel. People have suffered enough from this selfish and entitled mentality. I bet if Stobie were the arresting officer and wrote this report, you’d all be singing the opposite tune. He’d be a hero.

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