ALEXANDRIA-VA — At approximately 1:24 a.m. this morning, an allegedly drunk driver in a white Toyota Camry crashed into the outside seating area of The Majestic Restaurant at 911 King Street in Old Town Alexandria.
“I got many calls and messages at around 5 o’clock this morning and I had to get down here. Everything was just destroyed,” said Scott Bogue, who manages the restaurant.
The car drove through hundreds of pounds of materials, including chairs, tables, plants, and heaters containing propane tanks. There was no explosion and the propane tanks remained intact despite the momentum of the car at the point of the crash.
The driver was caught on CCTV footage (see below) provided by Old Town Shoe & Luggage Repair across the street from The Majestic. The owner, who lives above the shoe repair shop, heard the crash and alerted authorities. In the video it is clear the driver does not stop or make any attempts to avoid the crash site. Moreover, he does not exit his vehicle or make any attempts to call for help.
Instead, the suspect continues driving up King Street and crashes again within a couple of blocks near a residential building. According to Bogue, the Alexandria Police used evidence from the first crash site by matching debris left at The Majestic restaurant with the car found at the second crash site. The officers were then able to link the two incidents to the same driver.
The Zebra Press has reached out to Alexandria Police Department for a statement. What is known so far is that the suspect has been apprehended and could potentially face felony charges due to the financial sum of the total damage caused as well as the risk posed to human life.
No pedestrians or customers were injured due to the incident but Majestic staff are now considering permanently removing the patio area to avoid placing their customers at risk. The outdoor seating area was added during the pandemic to follow social distancing regulations. While this sort of incident is rare, it does raise questions about the safety risks of sitting so close to moving traffic.
“We’re carefully considering whether it’s time to move on from the patio seating area arrangement. Imagine if this happened on a busy night, or when people were sitting out there. This could’ve happened on New Year’s Eve,” said Bogue.
When asked how the business would recover the damages, he added, “This individual was driving a 2002 Camry, it’s a very small car. I don’t know how he had enough momentum, but everything was broken so we’re currently up to about $15,000 in damages. You’re looking at $2300 just for the tops of the tables, just the plant pots alone come to around $7000, and then $150 for each of the plants.
Bogue told The Zebra Press that they will not be pressing charges. “He is being charged with a DUI for the crash down the road, but we don’t want to ruin the man’s life. We will be working with our insurance to recover the damage.”