NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Before an older brother of Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse was arrested on Monday, he allegedly ran a stop sign, almost hit a police cruiser, flashed his middle finger at the officers, then, when he was pulled over, name-dropped his 22-year-old sibling.
Douglas A. Morse, 32, of Westfield , was arraigned on drug and traffic charges in Northampton District Court on Tuesday. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back for a pretrial conference on April 25.
He faces heroin charges and possession of other controlled substances, driving with a suspended license and failure to take care in starting, a traffic violation. The suspended license charge is a subsequent offense: he was convicted in 2005 in Great Barrington District Court.
Patrol Officer Chad C. Smith's arrest report says Morse drove through a stop sign while turning from Trumbull Road onto King Street around 3:40 p.m. on Monday. He allegedly almost hit Smith's cruiser, then flipped off him and his partner.
When Smith pulled him over and asked for his registration, the arrest report alleges, Morse said, "My brother is the Mayor of Holyoke and contact my mother. She will pick me up."
Smith wrote that he asked a second time, at which point Morse seemed to try to hide something in the glove compartment.
"Morse appeared extremely nervous and was fidgeting in his seat," Smith said. "Morse was not making eye contact with me throughout the entire stop."
Smith said the other officer saw drug paraphernalia in Morse's car in plain view. Morse was put into the cruiser while the officers searched his vehicle.
They allegedly found a hypodermic needle, three small wax baggies that Smith said are consistent with heroin packaging and contained residue, two pills of the prescription drug suboxone (one of them in an Orbit gum package) and an unspecified amount of the muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride .
The court has appointed an attorney for Morse at a fee of $150. The drug and suspended license charges are punishable with imprisonment and fines.
Mayor Morse released the following statement to 22News on Friday:
"My brother Doug has struggled with addiction for most of his adult life, and unfortunately he hasn't been able to overcome it. Like every family, we have our ups and downs. The important thing is that we acknowledge our setbacks and attempt to move forward.
"For me, this is just another reminder as to why it's so important to support individuals and families affected by substance abuse, as well as making sure treatment is available to those who need it. I love my brother very much and I pray for they (sic) day when he can live a life free from addiction.
"My brother's experience has made me a better and stronger person, as it has made me more aware of the struggles of people right here in Holyoke and has better prepared me to address them. I ask Holyoke for their support and privacy for my family during this difficult time."
Anthony Fay contributed to this report