Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Crash leads to charge of leaving the scene

Second man accused of pushing a police officer

Express Staff Writer

Two Hailey men found themselves in trouble with the law early Sunday morning after a Dodge Durango smacked into a power pole on Fox Acres Road in Hailey. One man is accused of leaving the scene of an accident and the second is accused of pushing a police officer.

Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary said the fracas started at 1:52 a.m. when the Durango, a black 2004 model registered to 19-year-old Joshua Jones, struck the pole and sheared it off. Witnesses reported that two men fled from the accident scene, but McNary said Jones was contacted within an hour of the accident at his Balmoral Apartments home.

McNary said that when officers arrived at the home two men attempted to flee from the apartment by way of a third-story deck but apparently decided against it because of the height and the fact that police had the place surrounded.

The police chief said that once officers were inside the apartment, Jones denied he was driving the vehicle but evidence suggested otherwise and he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident and illegal consumption of alcohol.

Also arrested was 20-year-old Justin R. Staskiewicz, who McNary said became angry during questioning and pushed a police officer twice. He said Staskiewicz calmed down after officers threatened to use their TASER stun weapons on him.

McNary said Staskiewicz faces misdemeanor charges of battery on a police officer, resisting, and obstructing and illegal consumption of alcohol.

Police estimated damage at $1,500 to the Dodge Durango and $5,000 to the power pole.

McNary said electrical power was disrupted in the area but was restored by about 3 a.m.

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