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Saddle Brook-Elmwood Park Daily Voice serves Elmwood Park & Saddle Brook

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DWI driver refuses to cooperate, Elmwood Park police smash window

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Elmwood Park police officer had to break the window of a car being driven by a drunk, unlicensed motorist after he began rocking it back and forth to try and free it from a snowbank, authorities said.

Officers were alerted just after midnight today to a Kia station wagon “being driven recklessly” on Boulevard, Police Chief Michael Foligno told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

They found it in the snowbank in front of the Subway, he said.

The driver, 35-year-old Jose Arbelo, “appeared highly intoxicated and refused to communicate” with the officers, the chief said.

He then began alternately putting the vehicle into drive and reverse in an attempt to free it, he said.

“This posed a dangerous situation for the officers and the driver, as well as the public,” Foligno said..

After repeatedly ordering Arbelo to stop, the officers had to break a window using a flashlight “to ensure that [he]could not again operate that vehicle,” the chief said.

An officer reached in, opened the door and got Arbelo out.

At headquarters, Arbelo “became combative and attempted to raise his hands to strike a detective,” Foligno added. “Several officers were able to gain control of him and escorted him into the cell block.”

Police released Arbelo but held onto his car.

He was issued court summonses on charges of DWI, careless and reckless driving and not having a driver’s license.

“It should be noted that on scene officers placed themselves in harm’s way for an extended period of time to ensure the driver would not be able to begin driving again,” Foligno said. “This was an extremely dangerous situation and I would like to commend [them] for doing so.”

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