Intoxicated man takes ax to neighbor’s car

By: 
Kate Wehlann, Staff Writer

Salem Police Officer Chad Webb responded to an incident on Elizabeth Street just after 9:30 a.m. on Saturday in which a man was apparently striking his neighbor’s vehicle with an ax.

Reserve Officer Todd Hooker and Webb made their way to the scene, where they found a maroon Mercury Mountaineer, owned by Julie Rikard, sitting on the edge of the roadway with extensive damage. A woman on the scene said a man living at 205 Elizabeth St. had done the damage.

Hooker and Webb walked over to the home in question, where they found John Reich, 54, Salem, standing in his garage. He told the officers the vehicle was blocking his driveway and “he had enough.” He said the vehicle was blocking his driveway and his son had to leave for work. He admitted to hitting the vehicle multiple times with the ax and yelled at the neighbors to move their vehicle.

Webb said he could see an ax laying beside the front porch of the home and that, while Reich was talking, he could smell a strong odor of alcohol.

Reich was placed under arrest for criminal mischief.

Webb went to speak with Reich’s son, who informed Webb he didn’t need to leave for work until 11:30 p.m. and that he would have just asked the neighbors to move their car if it was still there when he had to leave.

Webb administered a preliminary breath test on Reich, who blew a .20, well over twice the legal limit. Reich was taken to the Washington County Jail and Webb secured the ax in his vehicle to be logged into evidence.

Webb said in his report there was damage to the hood, both side mirrors, the grill and driver’s side headlight. Rikard said her daughter was driving the vehicle and parked at 205 Elizabeth St. while walking to visit a friend at 203 Elizabeth St. The daughter told Webb the man was standing in the driveway when she parked and when she walked away. She said he never said anything to her and she had parked there in the past.

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