Former Police Chief Palombo arraigned for domestic assault

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Former Cranston Police Chief Marco Palombo Jr., age 53, has been charged with two misdemeanors: domestic assault/battery and domestic disorderly conduct.

Palombo was arraigned by the justice of the peace, Police Chief Michael Winquist said, and released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bail. His court date is set for Dec. 12 at Third District Court in Warwick for a formal arraignment.

Seven police officers responded to reports of a domestic assault at Palombo’s Cranston residence on Thursday, Nov. 30 at approximately 6:26 p.m. Palombo’s wife had called 911 to report that the former chief was “out of control” and had “hit her in the head,” according to police reports.

Colonel Michael Winquist confirmed Friday that the victim of the alleged assault was Palombo’s wife.

A no contact order was automatically put in place due to the nature of the incident, Winquist said, so Palombo is prohibited to be in contact with his wife at this time.

Palombo retired from the department in 2013 after being placed on administrative leave. He currently has no affiliation with the department, according to Winquist.

Here is what happened according to police reports:

Palombo’s wife called 911 on Thursday night and stated that her husband, Marco Palombo, was out of control and had hit her on the head. Dispatch reported that while she was on the phone it sounded like the altercation was getting physical and she hung up abruptly.

According to the report, when officers arrived, Palombo’s wife and daughter were both crying hysterically on the driveway of their residence. Palombo was standing across the driveway.

Palombo’s wife told Officer Brian Corvese that she and Palombo got into a verbal argument and when she tried to separate herself from him he stopped her, at which point he hit her in the face multiple times. She also told him that this was not the first incident of abuse by Palombo. Officer Corvese observed redness on the right side of her face and on her lower neck/collar.

A neighbor, who had been called during the incident, told Officer Corvese that there have been multiple issues at the house, referring to their residence as ‘Fort Knox.’

Officer Kim Carroll’s report, based on conversations she had with Palombo’s wife and daughter, states that the wife tried to leave the house through the garage, but Palombo made it so the garage door couldn’t be opened. The daughter tried to intervene between Palombo and his wife, but he pushed her back and punched the wife in her face. The daughter then drove away from the scene and called a neighbor, returning shortly after.

The wife said that he “slapped” her following a verbal argument. She then went upstairs to her bedroom, locked the door, and called 911 because “she just couldn’t do this anymore.”

At this point in the officers’ conversations with the victim and the daughter, Palombo came out of the house and said, “What is going on, you called the police?”

Palombo then spoke with Officer Joshua Brown. Palombo said that his wife is a drinker and tended to over exaggerate situations. He also said that he told his wife and daughter to leave, but when his wife backed out the garage door was not fully raised and she backed into it. He said that he left both the wife and daughter alone after this and the situation did not get physical.

Officer Ryan Shore spoke to the other officers about what they had heard at this point and then spoke with Lieutenant Donald Robertson. They determined that Palombo was the primary aggressor and would be taken into custody for domestic simple assault and domestic disorderly conduct.

Officer Shore went inside to the kitchen area, where Palombo was waiting at this point, and told him of the circumstances and that he was going to be placed in custody. Palombo was reluctant and irritated by the decision, according to Officer Shore, and asked to speak with someone with a higher rank. Lt. Robertson then told Palombo that they had made their final decision. Palombo continued to question the validity of the probable cause and repeatedly asked to speak with his family, which he was denied of doing.

Palombo was then given the opportunity to contact his attorney and was walked outside, where he was placed in handcuffs and into a police cruiser without any incident.

Palombo was then transported to police headquarters, where he was arraigned and released on the personal recognizance by a justice of the peace.

Chief Winquist said in a later interview that the police officers had enough probable cause based on observations and statements made by people at the residence to place Palombo under arrest.

In regards to the former Police Chief’s connection to the department, current Chief Winquist said that they “treated this case exactly like any other investigation.”  

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