A man accused of smashing his car though a locked gate to get out of Ocean Beach Park in New London last night said he got “scared” when he saw he was locked in and smashed his way out, according to police.
Police were called to the park on Ocean Avenue just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday and the caller reported someone smashed through the gate and provided a description of the vehicle.
An officer who was assisting with a separate investigation downtown saw a vehicle matching the description pull into a convenience store parking lot on Bank Street and went to speak with the man.
The suspect in the gate crashing, identified as 32-year-old Hector Santiago, of Wauregan, was trying to fix a damaged part of his car.
Police said Santiago told them he had gone to Ocean Beach Park to fish from the beach and went to leave the park, but noticed he was locked in and he became "scared" so he drove his car through the fence to get out.
Park employees estimate it will cost $2,000 or more to fix the fence.
Santiago was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, evading responsibility and first-degree criminal mischief.
Santiago was released on a $1,000 bond and is due in court on Oct. 27.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com