Driver arrested for downtown ‘banzai run’ |

Driver arrested for downtown ‘banzai run’

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A suspected drunk driver was arrested Monday afternoon after going on what police called a “banzai run” the wrong way up the Grand Avenue wing street off Seventh Street.Michael Dufresne, 25, of Aspen was arrested on suspicion of driving under restraint, harassment, felony menacing, criminal mischief, false imprisonment, aggravated motor vehicle theft, reckless driving, DUI, hit-and-run and second-degree assault.”Monday afternoon at about three, a gentleman decided that he would try making a banzai run up the wing street,” Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said.Wilson said Dufresne was traveling the wrong way up the one-lane, one-way wing street next to the Grand Avenue bridge.Dufresne allegedly crashed a white Mercedes Benz SUV into one car under the bridge, severely damaging it and pushing it into two other cars that suffered lesser damage. According to Wilson, a tourist couple came out from the Springs Bar from lunch to find their vehicle damaged by the suspected drunk driver and asked, “This doesn’t happen here all the time does it?” Dufresne is suspected of next proceeding up the wing street and crashing into a concrete formation at the base of the bridge two times. At this point, Wilson said, a man driving a large Dodge truck blocked Dufresne’s path toward Grand Avenue. That man and a nearby business owner then pulled Dufresne out of his Mercedes and detained him until police arrived, Wilson said.Wilson said Dufresne’s girlfriend, also listing an Aspen residence, told police she had been riding in the car and was threatened with a knife. She got out of the Mercedes a block or so before the accidents near Grand Avenue occurred and took the keys out of the car. She called police when Dufresne found spare keys and drove off in her car, Wilson said.”When he took off, he didn’t have any permission to drive the vehicle,” Wilson said.He added that there were several witnesses who saw Dufresne strike the parked cars, and that officers believe Dufresne smelled like alcohol and was slurring his speech.”When I got there he was screaming, ‘I want to be shot, I want the police to shoot me,'” Wilson said.No one was reported to be seriously injured.”He was basically raging and using the car as a vehicle of destruction,” Wilson said. “I think we came out very lucky that we didn’t get anyone more seriously injured and that he didn’t hit anyone.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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