PLATTSBURGH — Police say Tyler Brassard was gunning his 2001 Ford Taurus the wrong way on Oak Street, drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into Plattsburgh Public Library’s overnight book depository very early Tuesday.
“There were books and glass everywhere,” witness Leticia Krieg said.
She was watching a movie at a friend’s place on Oak Street across from the library when they were startled by screeching tires followed by crashing outside.
“We ran to the window,” she said. “You could see the book (depository) was thrown across the street, by the YMCA.
“It all happened kind of fast — it was crazy.”
When Krieg and friends went outside to investigate, she said, they found an empty car with no driver in sight.
“Brassard told officers he fled from the scene because he was scared,” police said in a statement Wednesday.
Police took Brassard, 22, into custody later that day.
Wednesday night, Roland Lockwood, president of the library’s Board of Trustees, had not yet spoken with the other members how they will proceed with replacing the depository.
“We have a meeting on July 24,” he said. “We will discuss it then and go from there.”
The large metal box, bearing a sign saying vandals would be caught on surveillance video, stood on the corner of Oak and Brinkerhoff streets, available for after-hours return of library books.
Lockwood said as far as he knew the box was under camera surveillance at the time of the accident and urged everyone returning books after hours to use the old book-return slot, located at the library’s main entrance.
Brassard faces charges of driving the wrong way on a one-way street, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, reckless driving, speed not reasonable or prudent and driving on a sidewalk.
The Ellenburg Center man was ticketed then released and is scheduled to reappear in Plattsburgh City Court at 8:30 a.m. July 24.
Lockwood, who didn’t know the value of the drop box nor the books damaged in the crash, said the board will discuss replacement costs at the upcoming meeting, and he hopes they will make a definitive decision at that time.
“I am sure we would like to replace it,” he said. “I think the man who ran it down should have to pay — I think that’s only appropriate.”
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