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Man blames Ambien sleep medication for crashing into Arlandria apartment building

A 28-year-old Alexandria man blamed the effects of being on Ambien on a crash that damaged an apartment building in the city’s Arlandria neighborhood.

The incident occurred on Friday, June 10, at around 4:30 p.m. in the 3800 block of Russell Road — directly across from St. Rita’s Catholic Church. A witness called police to report that a blue Ford Focus hopped the curb and smashed into the steps and rail of the entrance to the “Andrew Jackson” building of the Presidential Greens Apartments, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The witness told police that, after the crash, the driver got out of the car, and picked up pieces of his car and put them in his trunk.

“The vehicle sustained extensive damage to its front, including bumper, under guard, right headlight, possibly radiator that left a large spill on the walking path near the steps,” police said in a search warrant affidavit. “The subject then returned to the vehicle, although with a struggle, turned around and drove out of the courtyard side — swiping a parked Mini Cooper.”

The witness pointed the driver out to police.

The driver told police that he’d just gone to McDonald’s to buy cigars, and then corrected himself by saying he went to get sandwiches, according to the search warrant affidavit. He also said that he took Ambien before driving.

“(The suspect) stated that he was using Ambien occasionally without prescription because it was helping hi to go to sleep,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “(The suspect) was aware of Ambien side effects. (The suspect) admitted to ‘possibly hitting something’ before parking.”

The driver, who was released on $500 unsecured bond that same day, was charged with hit-and-run property destruction, driving an uninsured vehicle, driving while intoxicated (first offense) and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He goes to court for the offenses on July 1.

Via Google Maps

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