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Riverside

Driver used heroin before crashing into cars in Riverside: police

RIVERSIDE - A Hometown man was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, leaving the scene of an accident and issued numerous traffic citations Jan. 27 after striking two parked cars and a street light On Harlem Avenue in Riverside, according to a Riverside Police Department news release.

Police at about 6 p.m. received numerous 911 calls reporting crashes and a hit-and-run in the 3000 block of South Harlem Avenue. Callers said there were multiple accidents on Harlem Avenue from Lindberg Road south to Addison Road.

Additionally, a caller said a car, described as a 1999 white Toyota, was fleeing the scene traveling southbound. Police spotted the vehicle at Harlem Avenue and Herrick Road and made a traffic stop.

The driver, identified as Richards, was asked to step out of his vehicle. He told police that he lost control of his car on the ice and crashed into parked cars along Harlem Avenue and then fled southbound before being stopped. Police observed heavy damage to the Richard's car, the release stated.

Richards was field tested for alcohol at the scene and successfully passed, but it was obvious he was highly impaired. He said he had ingested heroin before driving and was an everyday heroin user, according to the release.

Due to a slight head injury, he was transported to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for further evaluation.

It was learned during the investigation that Richards, after striking the vehicles, also took down a street light at Harlem Avenue and Addison Road, the release stated.

Riverside police went to MacNeal Hospital where Richards refused to submit to any chemical testing. He was treated at the emergency room and released into police custody, according to the release.

Once in police custody, Richards told police he had snorted heroin from a plastic bag and with a straw before driving to Riverside, the release stated.

Richards was processed and bonded out with a court date of March 15.

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