Northport Police Chief Bill Ricca

Northport Police Chief Bill Ricca Credit: Steve Pfost

It was a scene, Northport police Chief Bill Ricca said, right out of one of those 1970s Cheech and Chong movies.

Think “Up in Smoke.”

On Monday evening, Ricca said, Arielle Bonnici, 26, of Huntington, drove her 2001 Jeep to Northport Village Justice Court to answer a summons she’d been issued on May 11 for unlawful possession of marijuana.

As Bonnici, of Virginia Avenue, pulled into the parking lot on Main Street used by the village police department and the village court, she cut off officers in an unmarked police car while talking on her cellphone, Ricca said.

Then, as the officers watched, Bonnici parked her Jeep in his parking spot, he said. Yes, the parking spot in the lot reserved for the police chief. The spot, he said, with the sign that reads: Police Vehicles Only.

Seeing this, Ricca said, his officers got out of their vehicle, approached Bonnici’s Jeep, and asked her to roll down the window.

“When she did, it was like Cheech and Chong, all the smoke coming out of the car,” Ricca said Tuesday, referring to the counterculture comedy duo Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong.

That smoke turned out to be a cloud of marijuana, Ricca said. “Yes, it was marijuana,” he said.

Bonnici could not be reached Tuesday night.

The officers issued Bonnici a field appearance ticket, charging her with unlawful possession of marijuana — while en route to court to answer a previous charge for unlawful possession of marijuana. She is due to return to court for both cases on Jan. 29.

Bonnici also was ticketed for using her cellphone while driving, police said.

“People don’t believe you when you tell them things that happen on the job,” Ricca said. “But, seriously, you can’t make it up.”

With Ellen Yan

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