Capt. Baptiste not guilty in Tisbury OUI case

Edgartown District Court Judge Paul Pino found Capt. Jordan Baptiste not guilty of an OUI charge following a bench trial. — Rich Saltzberg

On Friday, Edgartown District Court Judge Paul Pino found Capt. Jordan Baptiste not guilty of a drinking and driving charge brought by Tisbury Police in 2019. Capt. Baptiste was selected to become the port captain of the Steamship Authority in April 2019, but resigned from the position following his arrest on the drinking and driving charge. He was also charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and other charges. Baptiste pleaded to sufficient facts on the negligent operation charge. The charge was continued without a finding for six months. He was found responsible for a marked lanes violation, and not responsible for failure to yield.

An Oak Bluffs motorist testified he observed a white SUV with Florida plates cross the center line several times. The behavior of the SUV was sufficient for the motorist to call 911. The description of the SUV appeared to match the one Tisbury Police pulled over with Baptiste inside. Tisbury Police Officer Andrew Silvia testified to observing the SUV behave on the road in a manner that was similar to what the motorist observed in Oak Bluffs. Silvia testified that after pulling Baptiste over, making observations about him, and conducting field sobriety tests, he arrested Baptiste. Under questioning by prosecutor Matt Palazzolo, Officer Silvia testified Baptiste had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. 

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Robb Moriarty, Officer Silvia acknowledged that while he testified to witnessing slurred speech in his interaction with Baptiste, such a description wasn’t to be found in his police report. At the close of the trial, Judge Pino said, among other things, Baptiste appeared to pass a key field sobriety test, even if some other tests had less rosy results. He found other faults with the commonwealth’s case, and ruled it had not met the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. 


  1. Look at that… another quality arrest coming out of the Tisbury PD. Another officer making up facts and circumstances while on the stand, but, he just forgot to write them down in the report! Good for story telling, not for arresting people!

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