MONROE, CT — A 25-year-old Newtown man was charged with DUI after police say he fell asleep at the wheel, while waiting in the McDonald’s drive-thru lane in his white 2003 Ford Explorer late Friday night.
At approximately 11:33 p.m., officers responded to a call at the restaurant at 390 Monroe Turnpike to find the driver in a parking space, fumbling with the keys, while attempting to start his vehicle, according to police.
Officers reportedly observed an open bottle of Johnnie Walker Red, visible in the cupholder of the Ford Explorer’s center console.
They knocked on the window and the man opened the door, police said, adding the officers immediately smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from inside the vehicle.
The man admitted to drinking the scotch in the cupholder, police said. His speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, according to the report.
Police said field sobriety tests were not performed to standard, leading to the driver’s arrest. He allegedly refused additional tests and was later released at 1:26 a.m. Saturday after posting 10 percent of his $500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 2.
Witnesses told police the Ford Explorer was in the drive-thru lane and the driver did not move forward when the car in front of him moved up to the window. Drivers behind him honked their horns.
Police said drivers got out of their vehicles and saw the man was asleep in the driver’s seat, adding they opened the driver’s side door to see if he was okay, waking him up.
Witnesses told police he was muttering incoherently, closed his door and move to a parking space. Then he reportedly got out of the Explorer and walked toward the entrance of McDonald’s, but did not go inside.
He looked around at other vehicles, before going back to the Explorer.
Bogus bills at Rite-Aid
Four hundred dollars worth of counterfeit money was used at the Rite Aid pharmacy at 435 Main St. Saturday, and someone unsuccessfully tried to pass $400 more in bogus bills at the other Rite Aid location at 508 Monroe Turnpike earlier in the day, according to police.
The assistant manager of the Rite Aid on Main Street told officers he was checking cash register drawers, while preparing to close for the day, when he noticed a higher than usual number of large bills in one drawer.
He said something seemed off about four $100 bills, so he ran it through a bill scanner, finding the bills unreadable, confirming the money was counterfeit, police said.
Surveillance video of the transaction shows a Black male suspect with a medium to large build and facial hair wearing a light colored, long sleeve quarter zip shirt with a dark collar, khaki pants and dark loafer style shoes, police said.
The counterfeit money was used to reload Chime debit cards, according to the report.
When the assistant manager learned of the fraud, he called the Rite Aid across town, and was told a Black male wearing a white hoodie attempted to reload two Chime debit cards at $200 apiece, but the clerk realized the bills were fake and refused to complete the transaction.
The Monroe Police Detective Division is investigating the cases.
Driver flees head-on crash
A 54-year-old Bristol man told police he was leaving Tollgate Plaza, 838 Main St., from the Pepper Street driveway Friday afternoon, when the driver of a gray four-door sedan entered the parking lot at a high rate of speed, striking the front-end of his black 2020 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
The other driver, described as a Black female with a ponytail, allegedly started screaming at the man and told him she was going to pull over, before exiting the parking lot, turning onto Main Street and traveling south.
The man reported the accident around 3:40 p.m.
Officers checked the surveillance footage from the camera of a nearby business and confirmed the time of the crash and that a gray four-door Hyundai with significant front-end-damage left the scene.
Police said the impact of the crash was so hard that the Hyundai was leaking fluids.
Officers were unable to locate the fleeing vehicle and the case is still under investigation.
Thieves target unlocked vehicles
Police received two complaints Monday about thieves targeting unlocked vehicles in neighborhoods.
At approximately 2:47 a.m., a Knorr Road resident told officers two people were seen checking car door handles on the street, before getting into what appeared to be a black SUV and heading north toward Blake Road.
One unlocked vehicle was entered, but nothing was taken, police said, adding the only description given was that the driver wore a light colored hoodie.
Then at 7:43 a.m., a Far Horizon Drive man told officers an unlocked vehicle was entered and rummaged through on his street sometime overnight.
Both residents shared the information with police, but did not file a formal complaint.
The wind and rain storm that knocked out power to over 1,000 Eversource customers in town Monday left many downed trees, branches and wires in its wake.
According to a tally of calls on Monday’s police incident log, 42 involved either fallen trees, branches or wires. Officers also responded to a few flooding complaints.
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