Judge Denies Ex-Brockton Police Chief's Attempt to Dismiss Negligent Driving Case

Former Brockton Police Chief Emanuel Gomes caused a serious three-vehicle wreck in his department SUV in May 2021. He did not receive any citations for the crash and the incident flew under the radar for a year until it was uncovered by the NBC10 Boston Investigators.

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A Worcester District Court judge denied an attempt to dismiss a negligent driving case against Brockton's former police chief.

The criminal case against Emanuel Gomes stems from a three-vehicle wreck he caused in his department vehicle in May 2021.

The chief did not receive any citations for the crash, and it flew under the radar for months until an NBC10 Boston investigation revealed details about what happened.

A private citizen with no connection to the crash ended up pursuing a charge against Gomes.

A crash involving the chief of the Brockton Police Department was kept quiet by city officials.

A hearing took place in July and the clerk magistrate ruled there was probable cause for the negligent driving charge to go forward. Gomes was arraigned in September in a case moved to Worcester to avoid a conflict of interest.

On Thursday, Gomes' attorney, Georgia Petropoulous, argued for the case to be dismissed because of the state's "no-fix" statute, a law that requires police officers to provide a copy of the citation to a driver at the time and place of the violation.

There are a few exceptions to the law, including if the driver could not be stopped at the time of the incident or if additional time was necessary to determine the identity of the driver.

But Judge Steven Power agreed with a Worcester prosecutor who countered that the no-fix statute did not apply to a case brought by a private citizen.

"It is encouraging to see this matter taken seriously within the courts," Sean Sheridan, the citizen who pursued the case, told NBC10 Boston. "This is a great first step toward accountability in this matter."

According to the Massachusetts State Police crash report, Gomes' vehicle was traveling on the on-ramp from Interstate 495 to get onto Route 24 northbound.

For an unknown reason, the report said the chief veered off the ramp and struck a vehicle in the breakdown lane before side-swiping another car and causing it to flip on its side.

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Rendering created using police reports

Three adults and a toddler went to the hospital after the wreck. The police chief refused medical treatment and got a ride home with a tow truck driver. The crash does not appear on his RMV driving record.

City leaders told NBC10 Boston that Gomes was on his way to the scene of a drowning on that Saturday night. However, they never disclosed the incident to residents.

Brockton's mayor defended the city's handling of the crash, saying it "followed all appropriate procedures" when NBC10 Boston reported the story this May.

Gomes retired in January after a 36-year year career with the police department and is now collecting a pension of $156,130. He is due back in court in January.

"In this case, the system worked," said Patrick Donovan, a criminal defense attorney who has followed the case. "It was designed that if you're not getting recourse in the police department, you have the right to go to the courthouse. Obviously, it's shocking that the chief was not cited on the scene, walked away, and months went by with no action."

Ryan Kath can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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