The lights and siren were on as Officer Rob Impemba rounded a curve on Beach Street and encountered a man waving his arms – drunk, stumbling but not out of breath.
It was police Sgt. Evan Franklin and he was asking Impemba for a ride home.
“He asked me, ‘Can you get me home?’” Impemba testified on Monday in Suffolk Superior Court about his controversial interaction with Franklin, who was dismissed from the department for the incident in the wake of the Talbot murder.
As the trial shifted gears Monday from State Police crime scene experts to Revere Police officers who responded to the scene, Impemba gave first-person testimony to one of the more controversial side stories to the Talbot case.
Franklin was allegedly one of the officers drinking behind Revere High School (RHS) during the shooting of Talbot. Impemba said that Franklin never mentioned the shooting or any of the circumstances during their two to three minute ride.
When the initial call for a shooting came in, Impemba traveled from a traffic stop on VFW Parkway to the back of RHS. In the process, he met Franklin.
“As soon as I stopped the vehicle, he rested his hands on the passenger side door and stated, ‘Can you get me home?’” Impemba said. “I knew where he lived. I said, ‘Sarge, I’m on my way to a shots fired call and a possible man down at the high school. He had no immediate response. He put his hand on the back door of the cruiser and stated, ‘Just get me to Broadway then.’ He appeared extremely intoxicated, eyes glassy and speech slurred.”
Impemba said Franklin did not order him to take him to Broadway, but rather he decided to take him there as opposed to getting out and possibly getting in an argument and losing valuable time.
So, instead of going directly to the high school, Impemba drove to Central Avenue and Broadway, took a right onto Broadway and then another right onto East Mountain Avenue.
That’s where he said he let out Franklin.
“He obviously didn’t want to have any conversation with me because he just jumped out and said, ‘See you later,’ and then ran across Broadway,” said Impemba.
The defense seized upon the fact that Franklin did not appear out of breath. Prosecutors said he ran from the scene of the shooting, which would have meant running up a gigantic hill on Janrvin Avenue and then down the other side of that hill.
It’s a jaunt that the defense said would cause most people to be out of breath and sweaty.
“There’s a large hill on Janvrin Avenue, right?” said Defense Attorney Peter Krupp.
“Was Sgt. Franklin out of breath?” he asked.
“No,” said Impemba.
“Was Sgt. Franklin at the high school?” asked Krupp.
“Well, I wasn’t there, so I can’t prove he was there,” said Impemba.
“So he might not have run from the high school?” said Krupp.
“Either that or he regained his breath,” said Impemba.