SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. -- Former House Minority Leader Robert A. Watson was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with possession of marijuana after a plow operator called the South Kingstown police to report an erratic driver.
Watson, a Republican representative from East Greenwich, pleaded not guilty last year to charges of drunken driving and possession of marijuanastemming from an stop at a sobriety checkpoint in Connecticut; he is awaiting a trial date in that case.
Lt. William B. Buckley said that the police received the call at 11:53 p.m. Saturday. The plow operator was clearing snow in the parking lot of the Washington County Veterinary Hospital, 4263 Tower Hill Road, and told police "an intoxicated motorist was driving on a flat tire and almost struck him," Buckley said.
When the police arrived, they saw a white Volvo sedan in the lot, with its rubber tire missing from the rim on the front driver's side. The driver's side door was open and a man who identified himself as Robert Watson was standing beside it, according to the police. There were no passengers in the car.
"The officers observed what appeared to be a pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana on the driver's side floor of the Volvo," Buckley said. "The officers also discovered a clear sandwich bag containing a green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana in the area of the driver's seat."
Watson was brought to the South Kingstown Police Department for processing and was released at 4:20 a.m. Sunday, Buckley said, with a summons to appear in Fourth District Court at 9 a.m. on Feb. 2