Cape & Island’s District Attorney Cited Following Reported Car Crash, Denies Collision Occurred

David Creed •

Robert Galibois

Newly elected Cape & Islands District Attorney Robert Galibois was issued an in-hand citation for improper turn, marked lanes violation, and failure to report a motor vehicle crash by the Barnstable Police Department on March 13.

Galibois, who was elected to replace longtime DA Michael O’Keefe last November, told the Current that he denies a collision ever occurred.

“My position remains that there is no damage to the car I was driving because there was no collision between the cars,” Galibois said. “Even though there was no collision I stopped, exchanged information, and asked the other driver if he wanted me to contact the police - to which he declined my offer. All of this is noted in the (police) report.”

According to the police report, the apparent crash was between Galibois and Rahim Edwards. Edwards’ mother, Heather Lehtola, told police on March 1 that her son was involved in a car crash with a second vehicle operated by Galibois.

“Additional statements made by Lehtola claimed that Galibois was involved in a hit-and-run, Galibois was unresponsive to her inquiries, and Galibois later denied hitting anyone,” the report says.

The accident occurred on February 23 between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Barnstable Road in Hyannis in the area near Kentucky Fried Chicken. Edwards told investigators that he felt a “noticeable bump” from Galibois’ vehicle immediately prior to striking a curb. He said he observed Galibois “speed away” towards the airport rotary while his car was at a stop and that he believed Galibois was attempting to flee from the crash.

Edwards told police he proceeded to speed up to Galibois while repeatedly blowing his horn and waiving his arms in an attempt to get Galibois to pull over. Eventually Galibois did pull over into a parking lot and once the two began to have a conversation, Edwards said that one of the first remarks Galibois made was “oh, did I hit you?”

Edwards said he was “immediately calmed” by Galibois demeanor and professional attire. They proceeded to exchange information and take photos of the damage to Edwards’ car. Galibois offered to contact the police, but Edwards declined and claimed that an exchange of information was enough.

The vehicle Edwards was driving is registered to his mother. He recorded Galibois’ contact information so that Lehtola could later call him and continue the process of exchanging further information.

Once Edwards and Galibois exited the parking lot, Edwards noticed his vehicle had its warning lights activated on the dashboard and that he could feel light to moderate shaking from his vehicle’s front end. It forced Edwards to pull into the Cape Cod Mall parking lot, contact his mother for advice, and then contact 911 to report the crash.

Lehtola told investigators that when she attempted to contact Galibois, she spoke to a person who identified as his secretary. Lehtola said she was on hold for approximately 10 minutes prior to being advised that Galibois was not in the office. The secretary then referred Lehtola to Galibois’ email.

“Lehtola was highly upset by this interaction and stated, ‘there was no way that it would have taken 10 minutes to know if Galibois was in the office,” the report says. ‘She stated that it was at this point she became uncomfortable with the situation.’”

Lehtola told police she made one or two additional phone calls and sent an email to Galibois with no responses. On February 28, she was notified by her insurance company that Galibois denied being involved in the crash.

Galibois told police on March 7 via phone that he conducted a three-point turn once he believed it was safe to do so, adding that he never observed Edwards’ vehicle traveling on Barnstable Road.

“Galibois stated that while traveling on Barnstable Road his attention was drawn (repeated horn blowing and hand waiving) by Edwards’ vehicle traveling immediately to his rear,” the report says. “He stated that he pulled into a parking lot prior to the airport rotary; Edwards’ pulled alongside, exited his vehicle and in an excited voice stated, ‘you hit my vehicle.’”

Galibois said that when he told Edwards he was unaware of any collision, Edwards later said “maybe I hit the curb” during their conversation.

Barnstable Police reviewed Edwards’ recorded 911 call and all surveillance video from Cape Cod Cars & Trucks (area of crash). Police came away with the conclusion that this video in conjunction with the damage to Edwards’ vehicle “strongly suggests” that Galibois passenger driver side tire, while in full turning position, collided with Edwards’ vehicle. However, police inspected the curbing in the area of the collision and could not differentiate the curbing caused by Edwards’ vehicle from other collisions.

Police said the images of the damage from the scene to Edwards’ vehicle are consistent with the collision, but there were no images of the front end of Galibois’ vehicle. This led police to retrieve images of Galibois vehicle on March 3 and March 7. None of these images showed any identifiable damage to the front end, passenger side front tire or passenger side front rim of his vehicle at the time of these images.

A copy of Galibois’ citation was entered into evidence and the investigation into the incident has concluded.

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