Springfield police officer placed on leave following OUI arrest
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A suspended Springfield police officer is back in the news after he was arrested for drunk driving over the weekend in Palmer and, despite not stepping foot in the city’s police department for five years, Gregg Bigda is still on the city’s payroll.
Bigda was arrested for drunk driving just after 1 a.m. on Sunday. According to court documents obtained by Western Mass News, Palmer Police noticed a white Infinity sedan traveling eastbound from Springfield Street towards the intersection of Main Street. The police detective observed the car’s drivers side tires fully cross the double yellow line into the westbound travel lane.
The detective then conducted a traffic stop and identified the driver as Bigda. Court documents also revealed that Bigda told the detective he drank a couple of cocktails and was coming home from a friends’ house in Wilbraham. It was noted that Bigda was “speaking with an extremely thick tongue, slurring his words, and his eyes were glassy,” according to court documents.
The detective then conducted a field sobriety test where Bigda had “significant balance issues” and told the Palmer detective “he did not feel comfortable performing the test.”
Bigda was then arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol. He was arraigned at Palmer District Court on Monday and entered a not guilty plea.
You may recall that it was Bigda who was accused of excessive force and abusive interrogation stemming from an incident with three Latino juveniles in 2016. He was then acquitted on the charges in 2021. Since then, the city has not put Bidga back on the force, but he has been kept on payroll.
However, on this most recent charge, Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood has suspended Bigda for five days without pay. Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh added that an internal investigations case will be sent out for review by the Springfield Board of Police Commissioners.
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