BURRILLVILLE – A man who fled police and crashed into a yard while driving a vehicle with fake tags was one of four George’s Pizza employees arrested following a delivery gone wrong this month.
The incident, which began with a high speed pursuit followed by a manhunt, then turned into a larger investigation of fraud.
The case began on Wednesday, Nov. 21, when Sgt. Ryan Hughes spotted a car driving down South Main Street that he registered driving 92 miles/hour in a 35 mph area with no front registration plate.
As Hughes attempted to catch up, the car, reportedly operated by Ricky Dalomba, 25, of 221 Arnold St., Woonsocket, ran a stop sign. The car, a 1996 Honda Accord, eventually crashed into the yard of a house on Wallum Lake Road and Dalomba fled into the nearby woods.
Officers noticed the car had a fake license plate, and when dispatch ran the number, they discovered a valid 20-day registration had been issued to the vehicle in July, but that it had expired. Police noted “several flaws,” with the fake plate on the Honda, which showed a current date.
Two employees from George’s Pizza had reportedly called the police station looking for Dalomba, so police visited the restaurant the following day after failing to find him in an extensive search. Among those interviewed there was 24-year-old Stephanie Garofalo, who said she owned the car, and that Dalomba was her boyfriend.
Garofalo and two other employees, 21-year-old Glenn Murphy and 18-year-old Kevin Keegan, both of Pascoag, said Dalomba had been delivering pizzas with the car at the time of the incident, and that they did not know where he was. They were instructed to contact police if they heard from him.
Because of evidence that Dalomba might be injured, and freezing conditions, officers reportedly searched the woods surrounding the scene of the car crash for the next two days, even looking in abandoned buildings on the grounds of Zambarano Hospital.
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Dalomba turned himself in at Burrillville Police headquarters and told officers he had hidden behind a house to escape them, and was later picked up by Garofalo, Murphy and Keegan. He was charged with high speed pursuit, reckless driving/drag racing/eluding police, driving after suspension, and obstructing an officer in the execution of his duty.
Murphy and Keegan were later charged with obstructing an officer, and were picked up on warrants.
Garofalo, meanwhile, was trying to get the Honda out of impound, and reportedly gave police a fictitious registration receipt and insurance card.
Police obtained a warrant and went to Garofalo’s Church Street home to arrest her on Wednesday, Dec. 5. In the driveway of the home, they reportedly noticed a 1998 Buick Lasabre that also appeared to have fake tags.
“Upon closer inspection, I noticed it was crudely made and laminated using a crude, transparent, 3-hole binder sleeve and Scotch tape,” noted a statement by Sgt. Ryan Hughes.
Garofalo is now facing two charges of forgery and counterfeiting, one felony charge of illegal evidence of financial security and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer.