20 Aug 2014
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Drunk Driver Flees After Hitting Parked Car, Cops Say

Morristown man was nearly twice the legal limit, according to police report.

Drunk Driver Flees After Hitting Parked Car, Cops Say

A Morristown man was nearly twice the legal limit when he struck a parked car and fled the scene Saturday evening, police said.

Jose Rosales, 31, of Speedwell Avenue, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, being an unlicensed driver, having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, failure to exhibit an insurance card, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Officer Adam Khoudja's report, another driver called 911 after he witnessed Rosales' vehicle—a green Ford Escort—hit a parked vehicle on Western Avenue and continue driving.

When Khoudja arrived to where both vehicles were driving, he put on his police vehicle's overhead lights to signal Rosales' vehicle to pull over. He drove a short amount later and then, nearly hitting the curb, jerked his car over to the side of the road, according to the report.

Two men were seated in the vehicle and, as Khoudja approached, the officer could immediately detect a heavy alcohol scent in the air, the report stated.

The man in the back, appearing nervous, tried to conceal something under his coat, which turned out to be a can of beer, according to the report. Khoudja took the can and dumped the contents, according to the report.

Rosales, slumped in front of his steering wheel, was unresponsive to Khoudja's questions. Eventually, a Spanish-speaking Morris Township officer was called to the scene, as Rosales said he could not speak English.

Khoudja asked—through the translator—how the fresh damage to the front of his vehicle had happened. Rosales said he could not recall hitting a vehicle, according to the report. When asked how much he had drank that night, Rosales said he had drank "two beers," according to the report.

Once back at the Morristown police station, Rosales registered a .15 percent, or nearly double the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content. He was processed and told his pending court date and released into the custody of a friend.

The parked vehicle hit on Western Avenue was located and its owner was contacted by police, according to the report.

For questions about this post, email john.dunphy@patch.com.

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