A alleged street gang member stopped for driving 12 miles per hour over the speed limit may have been distracted by the messy meal he was consuming while operating his car, according to Middletown Police.
On Oct. 18 at 9:55 p.m., Justin B. Ryals, 27, of Woodbury Circle was driving a Dodge Avenger on Saybrook Road ahead of an officer at 47 mph in a 35 mph zone, the report says.
Ryals was eating buffalo chicken wings, police say, and "commanded" the officer to stop flashing his flashlight into the car after asking why he was being stopped, followed by, "I'm trying to eat."
After being asked for his license and registration, the report says, Ryals continued eating his chicken and again told the officer he was trying to eat. When he stepped out of the car, there was a steak knife sticking out of his pocket, the report says, and Ryals smelled strongly of marijuana.
A partially burnt cigarette was found, police indicate, containing .4 grams of marijuana.
"When using Ryals's phone to call his girlfriend," the report says, the detective noticed texts from people requesting to buy marijuana from Ryals, "references to an affiliation with the Bloods street gang," and "numerous pictures of marijuana, marijuana grows and a revolver."
The report says Ryals has a long record of violent crimes. He was arrested eight times in Connecticut, once in New Jersey, and seven times in New York City for many counts of possession of marijuana, possession of a dangerous and deadly weapon, multiple assaults, home invasion, resisting arrest, interfering with an officer, destruction of evidence, violation of a protective order, multiple counts of larceny, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and motor vehicle violations.
According to an arrest in New Jersey in 2004, the report says, Ryals was reported by the Paramus Police Department to have a "MOB" tattoo, an acronym for "member of Blood" or "money over [expletive], a moniker for the Bloods street gang.
For the speeding incident, Middletown Police arrested Ryals for traveling unreasonably fast, weapons in the vehicle and possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana.