An Edgartown man was arrested on several charges after he allegedly drove through the wall of the Net Result in Vineyard Haven early Saturday, police said, leaving the popular fish market in a state of ruin and closed for business.
Abraham Torres Rendon, 25, was arrested and charged with drunken driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked lanes violation, speeding, reckless operation, leaving the scene of property damage, wanton destruction of property, resisting arrest and attempted bribery of a public official, Tisbury Lieut. Eerik Meisner said Monday morning.
Mr. Rendon and a female passenger were driving from Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven, Lieutenant Meisner said. As the road curves by Net Result, he said, the Toyota 4Runner left the roadway and drove through the front entrance of the store.
Net Result owner Louis Larsen told the Gazette Saturday that major repairs will be needed before the fish market can reopen; he estimated damages at about $250,000.
Tisbury Sgt. Timothy Stobie said Saturday that the police department received a call at 1:48 a.m. Saturday for an automatic fire alarm at Net Result. Officers were dispatched to the scene when a second call came in reporting the crash itself.
Lieutenant Meisner said Mr. Rendon and the passenger left the scene, and police searching on foot located them in a room at a hotel across the street.
Both were checked by medical personnel and were not seriously injured, Lieutenant Meisner said. The female passenger does not face any charges.
Mr. Rendon allegedly resisted arrest and offered money to be released from police custody. Police did not release his name or information about the charges until Monday morning.
Mr. Larsen spoke to the Gazette Saturday afternoon inside the market where cleanup was already under way.
The Toyota crashed through the side entrance of the building adjacent to the parking lot and hit a large, low lobster tank, pushing the tank into the metal counter behind it and denting the counter.
“You could drop that thing out of an airplane and it wouldn’t dent,” Mr. Larsen said, referring to the counter. He said the force from impact also pushed a display counter into a 10 by 14-foot freezer unit at the opposite side of the room, moving the freezer itself.
The lobsters “were all over,” he said. “There were lobsters in the showcase, lobsters in the corner.” In a photo Mr. Larsen took as Tisbury emergency crews were moving the car out, a lone lobster is visible beneath the dislodged tank.
The surviving lobsters — not all made it — were moved to a different storage unit in the back of the building.
He said that for safety reasons he will not be able to sell any of the food items, purchased in anticipation of the weekend, that were in the cases. He will reopen only after insurance adjusters and the Tisbury board of health have been on the scene.
He said he was just glad the accident had not happened during business hours.
“It gets crowded,” he said. “Thank God it was two in the morning and not two in the afternoon.”
In addition to the damage to the Net Result building, the car also knocked the One Way sign that points into the Tisbury Marketplace from its post.
On Saturday afternoon, Mr. Larsen and business partner Jeffrey Maida remained at the scene along with staffers as crews from Oceanside Restoration worked on preliminary cleaning.
The market had just received a fresh coat of paint when it closed for winter sprucing at the end of January. Water stains splattered the ceiling and glass still sprinkled the shelves of a beverage display case.
Mr. Larsen said he planned to be open as soon as possible.
Mr. Larsen stood in the middle of the wreckage of his market on what is usually the busiest day of the week when people come from all over the Island to buy fresh fish, sushi and lobsters.
“We’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll let you know when we’re going to open — send out an e-mail blast.”