EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 17, 2013

Man charged with driving into park bench, injuring 71-year-old

Charges come 4 months after crash at GAR Park

HAVERHILL — It’s been four months since an SUV crashed into a park bench, causing a 71-year-old man to lose a finger and suffer other injuries.

Yesterday, someone was charged in the case.

Angel Suarez, 66, of 3 May Court, Methuen, was arraigned in Haverhill District Court on charges related to the crash, which caused the victim sleeping on the park bench injuries to his finger, hip, ribs and shoulder, police said.

The crash happened the night of Aug. 31 at GAR Park, across the street from the public library. Yesterday, the district attorney’s office failed to answer questions about why it took investigators so long to bring Suarez to court.

Police said Suarez was driving drunk and that his car also hit the Korean War monument in the park, causing minor damage to it. After the crash, he drove away from the park and traveled over the New Hampshire line into nearly Newton, police said. There, his SUV went off the road and he was arrested, police said.

Newton police said that when they found Suarez, his pockets contained three receipts from a restaurant in Salem. The receipts showed he bought six margaritas and three beers about an hour before he drove his vehicle off the road on Route 108 in Newton, police said. Suarez eventually pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and he lost his right to drive in New Hampshire as well as Massachusetts, his lawyer said.

In Haverhill yesterday, Suarez was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and three counts of leaving the scene of property damage. During yesterday’s hearing, Suarez’s defense lawyer Robert Lewin said it has been almost five months since the night of the accident and that he and his client previously attended a clerk’s hearing in Haverhill District Court, during which yesterday’s hearing was scheduled.

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