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Teamwork between HPD, Hopkinton Country Club patrons leads to arrest of reckless driver on golf course

by | May 15, 2024 | Featured: News, News

Smart thinking by patrons at the Hopkinton Country Club on May 4 and the teamwork displayed between them and the Hopkinton Police Department led to the arrest of a driver who sped through the club’s fairways.

Detective Sergeant Gregg DeBoer shared that officers responded to a call at 4:52 p.m. that day for “the report of a car intentionally driving down several fairways” while golfers and HCC employees were on the course. The vehicle had fled the area by the time the police arrived.

“The damage to the course, and particularly the putting greens, was extensive,” DeBoer continued. “Subsequent damage estimates by the professional greenskeeper stated that it would approach $7,000  to repair the course.”

Added DeBoer: “The responding officers did a phenomenal job of getting statements from people in the area and a solid description of the suspect vehicle.”

What aided the investigation was that “astute patrons and employees” took several videos and photos of the car. According to DeBoer, “This revealed a very distinctive vehicle, a white hatchback with a front passenger fender that was black.” Witnesses estimated that the car was traveling at speeds as high as 30 mph.

“Videos showed that the suspect vehicle appeared to swerve at a golf cart being operated by an HCC employee before continuing on its path down several more fairways,” DeBoer stated in an email to the Independent. “Subsequent interviews with several golfers and employees revealed an extreme state of fear of the vehicle traveling at them at a high rate of speed and only missed colliding with them by several feet.

“Unfortunately, in the chaos, nobody was able to grab a full license plate,” he continued. “A patron believed that the plate contained the letters 4GL.”

Another aspect that aided the investigation was the initiative taken by HPD dispatcher Rob Savolt. DeBoer noted that Savolt is extremely computer savvy.

“Rob took the self-initiative and reviewed the videos and researched vehicles and was able to determine that the vehicle was a Toyota Matrix manufactured between 2009-2013,” DeBoer noted. “Rob then went to work using the partial plate number and the vehicle color to get a list of potential vehicles and their registered owners.”

Savolt learned that the Town of Weston had run plate number 4GL627 at approximately 2 p.m., less than three hours before the golf course incident. The vehicle description matched what witnesses described — a white 2013 Toyota Matrix registered to Ian Mahoney, 27, of Princeton.

Mahoney became “a very likely suspect” because of “a previous police interaction between Mahoney and the Hopkinton Police Department in 2015.”

Stated DeBoer: “Rob’s diligent work saved me hours chasing dead ends, he truly developed this case. In less than 48 hours we went from knowing very little to identifying the likely suspect.”

Suspect apprehended

DeBoer then traveled to Princeton, where he observed the vehicle in the suspect’s driveway.

“Although Ian Mahoney refused to talk to me, I was able to speak with his father and explain what I was investigating,” he shared. “The following day I was contacted by an attorney retained by the Mahoneys to represent Ian’s interests.”

While DeBoer was certain that he had the right vehicle, he also wanted to make sure he had the correct driver.

“Through my investigation, I had learned that an HCC employee had clearly seen the operator and felt that he could identify the operator,” stated DeBoer. “A photo lineup of Mahoney and similar registry photographs to Mahoney’s image were presented to the employee. The employee was able to identify Ian Mahoney as the operator.”

DeBoer obtained an arrest warrant for Mahoney. The charges were for malicious destruction of property over $1,200, operating a motor vehicle recklessly to endanger, and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon (automobile). He also filed an immediate threat to suspend his driver’s license. He spoke with Mahoney’s attorney and arranged for Mahoney to surrender himself on May 13.

“I am very proud of how our team at the Hopkinton Police Department handled this,” DeBoer stressed. “The teamwork by HPD on this case was outstanding and reflective of how dedicated we all are to thoroughly investigate crimes that occur in town. It does not matter if you are a detective, patrolman, or dispatcher — we all work to provide the best service that we possibly can to the public.”

1 Comment

  1. Ruth

    The officer is to be congratulated. He is a pride to our PD. Great job. This is the type of officer who needs to be promoted.

    Reply

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