In what Chelsea police called a “wild ride,’’ a man is facing drunken driving charges after his vehicle careened through the city’s downtown on Wednesday, sending dozens of people running for their lives, as the car bounced down the steps of the Civil War monument and onto the lawn of City Hall.
Jose Valle, 56, was arrested about a block away, but only after his Chrysler PT Cruiser became disabled. A sobriety test showed his blood alcohol level was .25, more than three times the legal limit of .08, police wrote in a statement.
And the entire incident was captured by a city surveillance camera, police wrote.
Valle, of Chelsea, appeared in Chelsea District Court Friday on charges including operating under the influence of alcohol and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.
The “wild ride” began around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. Police said Valle struck a parked car on Grove Street, drove down the stairs of the Civil War monument — nearly hitting three pedestrians “who ran for their lives” — and then crashed into a trash barrel and park bench.
The ride continued, police wrote.
Valle drove the car onto the lawn of City Hall, pushing several large potted plants “across the City Hall lawn.’’
And continued, police wrote.
“Rather than stop, the driver put his vehicle in reverse and continued his path of destruction by pushing another potted plant across the lawn, crossed Broadway as a dozen spectators ran for their safety, and crashed into one of the city’s antique light poles,” police wrote. “He then put the vehicle in forward and fled to Marlborough Street where his vehicle became disabled.’’
And that’s where the ride ended.
“He was taken into custody by Chelsea Police.’’John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.