The reality was no laughing matter; Wrong-way DUII driver was in jail
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – It was a small mystery that prompted a large number of questions and jokes, online and off: a wrong-way car oddly double-parked in downtown Bend for much of the weekend that wasn’t towed away until Monday, after some vandals unfortunately marked it up.
The Wall Street oddity also prompted some parking space hunters’ frustration, but the answers that came Monday weren't funny at all, but sadly familiar: the arrest and jailing of a wrong-way DUII driver.
Before that, several photos were posted on the Bend subreddit, each prompting a long thread of comments, many humorous, one even calling the white Subaru Outback “the new mascot of Bend.” Many wondered how long it would take for the car to be removed by the city.
After attracting several parking tickets, the car finally was towed away Monday morning, but not before becoming the talk of the town – well, downtown and online, anyway.
“I figured somebody was just in a rush to get something back into one of the shops,” said Pizza Mondo line cook Jack McColgan. “But apparently it was here all weekend, and saw it on the way in, and just been chuckling about it all weekend.”
At some point, someone vandalized with black spray paint, reading: “Nice parking job.”
“Crazy to me,” said Briana Lattanzi, lead esthetician at the Bend Beauty Skin Spa.
“I’m from Portland originally, and as everybody knows – Portlandians, we’re used to that kind of stuff. And it’s kind of unfortunate to me, because Bend, Oregon has been such a blooming and blossoming community. I don’t think that person’s going to wake up in the morning being like, ‘Oh, that’s great!”
They surely won’t, and the story isn’t amusing from that perspective, as it was connected to a wrong-way driver’s DUII arrest.
Early Saturday morning, officers noticed someone driving the wrong way on Wall Street, said Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller.
“When we initiated that traffic stop, the person pulled over, out of the lane of travel, into the parking spaces on Wall Street,” Miller said. “That person was subsequently arrested on suspicion of DUII and registered a .25 BAC (blood alcohol content),” more than three times the legal limit of .08.
The suspected DUII driver was held in jail over the weekend, so the car sat where it was.
“We have a tow policy of whether we tow a vehicle or not,” Miller explained. “Generally, we look to see if the vehicle is a hazard. And this particular vehicle, although parked kind of crazily, was parked in parking stalls, and so was determined by our officers not to be a hazard that needed to be towed.”
Once the city towed it away Monday morning, within minutes, the parking spots it had taken up were filled in more traditional fashion, and the mystery faded away.