EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 5, 2013

Attendant hits the gas, damages 3 cars, totals 1

City worker has history of moving violations, accidents, license suspensions

LAWRENCE — When Antonio Bueno — a 73-year-old city worker with a 17-year record of speeding, running stop signs, accidents and license suspensions — got behind the wheel of another man’s car in a public parking lot he was attending last week, chaos ensued.

It began when Bueno attempted to move a Toyota left in the lot beside City Hall by Methuen resident Rafael Garcia, apparently to make room for another car, according to a police report. Police said Bueno put Garcia’s car in reverse and backed it up.

The first car to get hit was Bueno’s own, a 1994 Toyota, which also was parked in the lot, the report said.

After backing into his own car, Bueno threw Garcia’s car into forward and hit the gas, striking another car with such force that the nose of Garcia’s car wedged under it, shoveling it into a cement wall and then into a third vehicle, which also was flung against the wall.

“I loved that car,” said Rita Brousseau, the city’s Purchasing Agent, who owned the third vehicle, a 2006 Hyundai Tuscon, which was totaled. “It was my first brand new car. Right off the lot. It was fully loaded. I planned on running that thing into the ground.”

There was almost one more casualty in the April 24 incident.

Frank Acosta, a witness who was standing at the edge of it all, told police he “was afraid (vehicle) #1 was going to hit him also,” according to the police report.

A police records officer did not respond to messages seeking to learn if Bueno was ticketed.

Any tickets would be added to Bueno’s 24 convictions, accidents and suspensions since 1996, including six for speeding, six for failing to stop, and four accidents in which he was deemed mostly responsible, according to records provided by the state Registry of Motor Vehicles.

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