PHOENIXVILLE - A Phoenixville man was ordered to stand trial at district court Thursday afternoon on driving under the influence charges after he allegedly struck a parked vehicle while driving home on Christmas Eve last year.
An eyewitness, whose name is being withheld by The Phoenix, testified he saw a black truck, driven by a male individual, strike a parked van along the 700 block of Starr Street at 9 p.m. Dec. 24.
The individual was later identified by police as Robert Christy, 44, of the 700 block of Starr Street, Phoenixville.
"The black truck was heading south on Starr Street when it hit the drivers side rear part of the van," said the witness. "The truck was veering randomly along the road. He was heading towards me and then passed me. I kept an eye on him through my rear-view mirror, hoping that he'd stop. I did a U-turn to follow him up the street. He pulled into a one-way alley the wrong way, then pulled into a driveway, running over some plastic trash cans."
The witness testified Christy got out of the truck, apparently stumbled over an embankment, then staggered towards the house.
"I was watching and I believe he went into the house," he said. "My fiance had been on the phone with 911 all during this time so I saw a police officer go by. I waved him down and described to him what had happened."
Officer Brett Popiny testified he spoke to the witness and noticed the black truck that was described to him from dispatch.
"I ran the tag on the truck and it was registered to Christy at the address I was at," said Popiny. "I noticed the heavy front-end damage to the truck. I went to the front door and Mr. Christy answered the door. He let me in and I asked him if the truck was his to which he agreed. He told me he had just come home and was aware he was involved in an accident."
Popiny said Christy displayed outward signs of intoxication. "I could smell an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. His eyes were red and glassy. He refused to perform any field sobriety tests but took a portable breathalyzer test, which he tested positive for alcohol. He was then taken into custody."
After hearing all of the testimony, District Justice Ted Michaels held all of the charges over for trial.
Christy is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol; accidents involving damage to unattended vehicle or property; duty to give information and render aid; immediate notice of accident to police department; and careless driving.
He remains free on $7,500 unsecured bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, 2004.