Barrington Police sergeant suspended without pay pending felony charge

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A Barrington Police sergeant has been suspended without pay after the Rhode Island State Police charged him with a felony count of obstructing the judicial system earlier this month.

Rhode Island State Police Lt. Benjamin Barney said Joseph Andreozzi, of Barrington, was arraigned on Nov. 15. The charge obstructing the judicial system states that a defendant corruptly, maliciously or recklessly endeavored to influence, obstruct or impede the administration of justice.

Lt. Barney said that act is alleged to have occurred on Aug. 30, the same day State Police charged Sgt. Andreozzi with domestic disorderly conduct. It was reported that Sgt. Andreozzi was arrested after making threats to his ex-wife during a telephone conversation.

Lt. Barney said the charges against Sgt. Andreozzi were amended on Nov. 15. The domestic disorderly charge was dismissed and the obstruction of the judicial system charge added. Police also charged Sgt. Andreozzi with cyberstalking, which is, by definition, the transmission of a communication by an electronic device to a person for the sole purpose of harassing that person.

Lt. Barney said that act was alleged to have occurred on “diverse dates.”

Lt. Barney would not comment on specifics of the investigation leading to either charge in the interest of preserving juror objectivity. He said the matter is slated to go before a statewide grand jury.

Obstruction of the judicial system is a felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, up to five years imprisonment or both. Cyberstalking is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and no more than one year in prison.

Barrington Police Chief John LaCross said Sgt. Andreozzi was placed on paid administrative leave for 15 days after the domestic disorderly conduct charge though he returned to work after a restraining order was lifted. Chief LaCross said Sgt. Andreozzi’s suspension is based on the new charge.

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