Interviews, 911 call, video: Barnstable police say more about Cape District Attorney crash

HYANNIS — Barnstable police cited Cape and Islands District Attorney Robert Galibois with multiple traffic violations in connection with a car crash that occurred Feb. 23 on Barnstable Road.

On Monday, Barnstable police cited Galibois for making an improper turn, a marked lanes violation and failure to report a motor vehicle crash.

The incident involved Galibois, and another driver Rahim Edwards Jr., 22, and occurred at about 11:15 a.m., according to a Barnstable police report.

Galibois told police he made a three-point turn in his GMC Acadia from the southbound lane into the northbound lane of Barnstable Road in Hyannis.

District Attorney Robert Galibois is flanked by his staff as he thanks the crowd at Cape Cod Community College at his swearing-in ceremony for the new Cape and Islands District Attorney and his assistants in January.
District Attorney Robert Galibois is flanked by his staff as he thanks the crowd at Cape Cod Community College at his swearing-in ceremony for the new Cape and Islands District Attorney and his assistants in January.

The GMC Acadia is owned by the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office.

"At this instance, I didn’t know or believed that I was involved in a crash with that vehicle," Galibois told police according to the police report.

Edwards was driving a 2004 Audi, registered to his mother, Heather Lehtola. Edwards was interviewed by Barnstable police on March 3. He told police he was traveling north on Barnstable Road when Galibois made an improper turn, according to the report.

According to Barnstable police, evidence supports that Galibois' tire collided with Edwards' vehicle. Edwards said he felt a noticeable bump from Galibois' vehicle and the momentum forced Edwards' vehicle into the curb along the northbound lane. Edwards' vehicle then came to an abrupt stop, and Galibois continued driving away from the scene of the crash.

Hit and run?

Edwards told police he had to speed up to Galibois' vehicle, and repeatedly blew his horn and waved his arms, to gain Galibois' attention.

In an interview with the Times on March 6, Galibois acknowledged that Edwards waved and beeped at him to flag him down. Once he noticed Edwards, he said he immediately pulled over into a parking lot and the two drivers exchanged insurance information and took photos of their vehicles. He stated he didn't know he hit Edwards' car, and that there was no damage to Galibois' vehicle following the alleged collision.

Edwards said in the police report that one of the first statements made by Galibois was “Oh, did I hit you?” As the two drivers discussed the incident, Edwards said he was instantly calmed by Galibois' demeanor and professional attire. Because Edwards' vehicle was registered to his mother, he took Galibois' contact phone number so she could call him with the additional required information.

In the police report, Galibois said he offered to contact police, but Edwards declined and said that an exchange of information should suffice. Galibois said both parties left the parking lot without further incident.

While Galibois admitted to a marked lane violation to a Times reporter over the phone, in a press release issued Tuesday by the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office, Galibois, said there were no injuries or mechanical or structural issues with either car.

When Edwards and Galibois exited the parking lot, Edwards said he observed his vehicle dashboard warning lights activate and felt light to moderate shaking from the front end of his vehicle. He then pulled over into the Cape Cod Mall parking lot, contacted Lehtola for advice, and called 911 to report the crash.

When Lehtola couldn't reach Galibois, she called police.

In a phone interview with Barnstable police on March 3, Lehtola told Sgt. Troy Perry she called Galibois' office multiple times to discuss the crash. Galibois was unresponsive to her inquiries, which prompted her to seek assistance from Barnstable police.

Lehtola told police that on or about Feb. 28, she was notified by her insurance company that Galibois denied being involved in the crash.

Galibois told the Times in a text on March 6 that Lehtola's insurance company contacted him Feb. 27, and Galibois sent the images of both vehicles to Lehtola's insurance company, but he didn't immediately hear back from the insurance company. He further confirmed on March 6 that his insurance company also hadn't been contacted by Lehtola's insurance company.

Neither Edwards nor Lehtola could immediately be reached by the Times to comment about the traffic citations or the crash.

Police reviewed Edwards' 911 call and surveillance video during the investigation.

As part of the police investigation, Edwards’ 911 call was reviewed and surveillance video from Cape Cod Cars & Trucks, Walgreens and Luke's Liquors was viewed by investigators, according to the police report. Images forwarded by Lehtola and Galibois were also reviewed and suggest the damage to Edwards’ vehicle is consistent with the collision.

The Barnstable County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Criminal Investigations took photos of each vehicle during the investigation, according to the police report. It's noted that there were no images of the front end of Galibois’ vehicle in the Lehtola or Galibois images.

Deputy Mark Mancini, criminal identification officer at the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office, also secured images of Edwards’ vehicle on March 3. Jason Molino, assistant director at the office, secured images of Galibois’ vehicle on March 7. There were no identifiable damage to the front end, passenger side front tire or passenger side front rim of Galibois’ vehicle at the time the images were taken.

Here's when you are required to report a car crash.

According to Barnstable police Lt. Mark Mellyn, Section 26 of Massachusetts General Laws states that every person operating a motor vehicle that is involved in a crash in which any person is killed or injured; or in which there is damage in excess of $1,000 to any one vehicle or other property needs to report the incident in writing to the registrar. A copy of the report also needs to be provided to police.

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape District Attorney cited by Barnstable police in Hyannis crash