Drunk driver charged with 13 traffic citations after hitting North Syracuse police cruiser, causing power outage

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UPDATE: The driver of the Dodge Caravan, Carl Barber, 57, of Cicero was charged with 13 traffic citations — one felony, five misdemeanors and seven infractions.

The charges are as followed:

  • Aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree
  • DWI
  • Aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree (two counts)
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to surrender a suspended/revoked license
  • Leaving the scene of a property damage crash
  • Failed to use due care for an emergency vehicle
  • Unsafe tire
  • Driving to left of pavement markings
  • Drove across hazardous markings
  • Speed not reasonable and prudent
  • Failed to keep right

There are more charges that are pending toxicology results and property damage estimates.


NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — According to North Syracuse Police, a drunk driver hit a police cruiser, several other vehicles and several poles on Tuesday night, which caused a power outage in North Syracuse.

According to North Syracuse Police Chief William Becker, an officer was on a traffic stop along the 200 block of Church Street around 8:10 p.m. when his vehicle was hit by a drunk driver.

The officer had been taking a different driver into custody for unlawful possession of marijuana when a Dodge Caravan with a flat tire hit the driver’s side of the patrol car.

The officer was out of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

“The officer was able to avoid the collision while safe guarding the subject he was dealing with… other than the damage to our patrol vehicle, no one at the scene was struck on injured,” said Becker.

Two officers were on the scene of the initial arrest and neither was hurt.

The van then left the scene, went about two blocks and hit three more vehicles and multiple utility poles, according to police. This caused a significant power outage in North Syracuse.

According to Becker, the 56-year-old driver was verbally combative and drunk when they took him into custody and then to the hospital.

The driver will be charged with DWI and multiple counts of reckless criminal mischief for each vehicle that was hit.

North Syracuse Police are investigating whether the driver also hit vehicles prior to the crash on Church Street.

They have received a number of complaints of cars being hit prior to the crash.

As of 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday, there were 1,512 customers affected. According to the National Grid outage map, those customers should expect the power to be restored by 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday.


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