A Tiverton, RI man faces a variety of charges after allegedly driving from the Old State House onto City Hall Plaza and then down the stairs towards Faneuil Hall last night, police say, adding he somehow managed to avoid hitting anybody on the steps.
Police say Nicholas Hoetzel, 26, drove down the walkway from Court Street to City Hall Plaza and towards City Hall around 10:35 p.m.
As the vehicle approached the main building, it turned right and down a large, three portion staircase before striking a large cast iron pole holding the crosswalk signal on Congress Street. Although numerous people were walking on the stairs and in the area at the time of the incident, miraculously, none were struck or injured in any way.
After the crash, which left his Corolla with heavy front-end damage, police say, Hoetzel ran away. Police say officers found him not long after, outside 28 State St, unconscious and "suffering from numerous self-inflicted, non-life-threatening injuries."
Police say officers found "a large, opened bottle of alcohol" in the car's front seat and a gun on the floor.
They add they suspect "mental health issues," not terrorism. Once released from the local hospital where he is now being treated, police say, Hoetzel will be arraigned on charges that include unlawful possession of a firearm, negligent operation and OUI.