Motorist arrested after alleged erratic spree

Suspect allegedly challenged Edgartown officers to ‘take him.’

Jacob Cardoza pleaded not guilty on Friday to a disorderly conduct charge brought by Edgartown Police. — Rich Saltzberg

Edgartown Police arrested Jacob Cardoza, 24, on a charge of disorderly conduct on Wednesday, April 20, following multiple reports of erratic driving and after “agitated and tumultuous behavior” toward officers and others, according to a police report. Cardoza pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charge at his arraignment in Edgartown District Court on Friday. 

Cardoza has also been issued a summons for additional charges: operating to endanger, speeding, and a marked lanes violation. Cardoza’s driver’s license has been suspended, according to Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee. The suspension stems from an immediate threat filing made by the Edgartown Police Department to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. 

On April 20, Edgartown Police responded to a residence following Dukes County Communications Center reports that a pickup truck was speeding on Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, “forcing cars off the road” and “traveling on the bike path.” 

Officers Nicholas Phelps, Zachary Townes, and Jeffrey Trudel discovered Cardoza lying on the ground near a Chevy Silverado that matched descriptions of the pickup that had been driven erratically, according to a report. They also encountered Cardoza’s parents, who were “confused as to why Jacob was laying on the ground,” a report states. 

Cardoza was initially noncommunicative, but then “very suddenly, and very violently” slammed a fist on the ground, began screaming, and “stormed” into the residence, according to a report. Cardoza then came back out without a shirt and kept screaming, according to a report. 

“With every scream, officers could see all the muscles in his neck tighten and constrict to their maximum,” a report states. “Jacob would also flex his arm and chest muscles, clench his fists, and dare officers to ‘Arrest me!’ and ‘Take me!’” Officers and his parents attempted multiple times to de-escalate the situation; however, Jacob continued his agitated and tumultuous behavior. Jacob also continued to dare officers to “take him,” according to a police report.

Cardoza allegedly attempted to enter all three cruisers, according to a report, but couldn’t because they were locked. Cardoza’s behavior caused at least one neighbor to emerge from his home and join in on attempts to de-escalate the situation, according to a report. Cardoza eventually “stormed back into the house, knocked over some items, and continued to the back yard, where he began to kick items and throw things around.”

Officers ultimately decided Cardoza posed a risk to his parents and to the public, and arrested him, according to a report.

In the cruiser, Cardoza allegedly spat, blew “snot out of his nose,” and banged his head against the partition, according to a report.

Cardoza allegedly told Officer Townes, “Have fun cleaning this s___ up,” according to a report. 

Officer Phelps later spoke with people who witnessed the erratic pickup earlier that night.

One witness stated she was with her husband, who was driving on Edgartown–-Vineyard Haven Road, when he uttered “‘What the hell,’” according to a report. The witness “then observed the Silverado traveling on the bike path, inbound, their vehicle,” a report states. The witness said “that [the] Silverado was traveling at least 70 mph, and that ‘dirt and gravel’ were thrown everywhere as the Silverado raced down the bike path,” a report states. The witness said “that the Silverado then entered into the inbound lane as it approached the rotary,” a report states. “Before the rotary, and still at a high speed, the Silverado passed a ‘red RAV4 on the left, crossing over the yellow line,’ which is in the opposite lane of travel.” 

Another witness stated his vehicle was almost hit by a Silverado “driving at a high rate of speed passing cars,” a report states.

Another witness told Officer Phelps he experienced a “scary moment” involving the Silverado that caused him to fear for the safety of his kid, according to a report. The witness said he saw the Silverado approaching on the bike path in his mirrors. 

“He described the Silverado [as] traveling between 75-80 mph,” a report states. “The speed caused a ‘cloud of dust’ to trail the Silverado as it traveled along the bike path. [The witness] also stated that he was traveling in a line of 5-6 vehicles, with the Silverado passing all of them via the bike path. As it was passing, the Silverado was forcing those 5-6 cars to swerve into oncoming traffic.”

In a later report, Officer Trudel determined that the man who had offered details of the “scary moment” had been traveling with his wife and 7-year-old daughter.

The man told police that the Silverado “was riding up on the grass median,” causing it to “swerve and fishtail on and off the bike path,” a report states.

Officer Trudel noted in his report, “The bike path is a 6-foot-wide paved travel lane adjacent to the roadway, which is designated for bicycles and pedestrians. There is an approximately 2-foot grass median that divides the roadway from the bike path.” 


  1. This will be a Excellent case to see how our wonderful island justice system handles this one!
    The outcome of this one with such a serious laundry list of charges will tell if the higher ups in our government should be contacted and investigations should be started forthwith to see why punishments are either extremely light or non-existent.

    • Michael–Because this guy was driving in the bike lane at 80 mph and confronted police in a violent manner. That’s why . Any more questions ?
      Why do you ask ?

    • Many people witnessed this happening on the roads and were frightened and concerned about what was happening in their community. This is perfectly newsworthy. If you don’t want your name in the paper, then don’t do anything newsworthy.

      • although, I will add that I don’t know why including his name is necessary. This person is in need of help, and exposing his name amd photograph to everyone isn’t very helpful. It should be considered that this person has a family, whether it be his own children or siblings in addition to his parents.

  2. Jacob and his family are a wonderful island family!! Half of the things said in this article are not how things happened or what was said.
    Let’s not judge or make convictions so quick.

  3. Two possibilities here —serious drug abuse, or mental health issue.
    As a community, we need to up the programs available to help.
    Luckily no one died this time .Let’s not wait until someone does.

  4. Does anyone actually admit guilt if they’re guilty anymore, Saw a lawyer’s billboard that said “Just because you did it, doesn’t mean you’re guilty”

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