Arsenio Freitas of Billerica, Mass. grew tired of making payments on his 2008 Chevy Silverado so he allegedly asked his cousin Eduino to help him take the vehicle down to his favorite fishing hole and make the Silverado disappear. As the truck slowly submerges in the water, the pair flee the scene. A few minutes later, a passerby notices the truck and calls 911, thinking this could be a tragic accident with lives at risk. According to a report in a local newspaper:
The blue and red lights slash the darkness at the Ashland Reservoir’s Spring Street edge. Spotlights search the water for anyone, everyone, who might be trapped, drowning or dead. Firefighters, police, EMTs, the chiefs assemble to perform the tasks they’ve drilled so many times. Six towns coming together to do whatever it takes to save a single life.
A Southborough ambulance stands ready to rush the victim or victims to the hospital. Divers from Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton, Northborough, Sherborn and Southborough make their way through the cold, dark water as reporters wait for word on what is found.
The tow truck moves to the edge of the boat ramp to pull out the Silverado. Something goes wrong. A tow line snaps. A piece of the buckle breaks. An EMT is loaded into the ambulance.
This happened in November. The injured EMT, firefighter Robert Gianopoulos, still hasn’t been cleared to return to work. He’s undergone numerous procedures to heal the injuries he suffered that night. “It’s not just the insurance company getting hurt here,” town manager John Petrin was quoted in the local newspaper.
The cost to taxpayers to respond to this alleged scam was more than $10,000, not counting Gianpoulos’ medical costs. Arsenio Freitas now faces a host of charges and a few years in jail, if convicted.
People who are tempted to ditch their cars in lakes or burn them in deserts need to understand they place people lives in jeopardy. Perhaps a stiff sentence in this case will help people understand that.
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Thanks for former IASIU president Dan Fitzgerald for bringing this case to our attention.