Driver flees police stop, nearly hits officer, then crashes

A suspected drunk driver allegedly fleeing police plowed his car through this hedge in Warwick before ending up on the front lawn of a nearby home. (Brian Yocono/WPRI)

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence police say a suspected drunk driver nearly hit an officer before leading police on a chase into Warwick and crashing.

Lt. Patrick Reddy of the Providence Police Department told Eyewitness News that an officer on patrol noticed a car take a wide left-hand turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue in Providence, then come to a stop on the sidewalk, at about 1:50 Sunday morning.

The officer pulled up nearby and saw the driver, 23 year-old Osvaldo Negron, trying to get out of the car despite being told to stay inside it. He allegedly told the officer, “I need to go home.”

The officer smelled alcohol and saw a bottle of beer in the car as he approached on foot and told Negron to turn off the car; Reddy said at that point Negron put the car in reverse, causing the officer to back up to avoid being struck, and then put the car in drive and almost hit him a second time before taking off.

Police pursued Negron, who was allegedly driving erratically, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring stop signs, before deciding to call off their pursuit on Elmwood Avenue in the area of Wellington Avenue.

A short time later, police said, a car matching the description of Negron’s vehicle crashed in the area of Elmwood Avenue and Post Road, hitting the median, veering through a hedge, and ending up on the lawn of a nearby home.

Negron fled the scene of the crash and has not been apprehended. Police said he’ll likely be charged with DUI when caught, although other charges are likely.

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