Driving Drunk, Not a Good Idea ... Especially If You Crash Into Police Chief's Car

A motorist is facing a drunk driving charge after slamming into Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey's new police vehicle.

It wasn't a good morning for Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey or for a motorist who stands accused of driving drunk, running a red light and slamming into the chief's new Ford Explorer.

And the Feb. 2 crash "shows that the chief and all police officers are no different than anybody else as a victim of drunk driving. Fortunately it was only property damage, although it could have been worse," said Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray.

Heavey was southbound on Arch Street, stopped for the traffic light at the southbound I-95 Exit 3 off ramp. When the light turned green, Heavey started through the intersection. "Suddenly the vehicle next to him starts slowing down. The bullet car is southbound on the exit ramp and came straight across the intersection to go back onto I-95," said Sgt. John Slusarz of the Greenwich Police Traffic Section.

The Exit 3 off-ramp is marked for turns only.

"The chief decreases his speed and the bullet car hits the front end of the chief's car. The bullet car spins out," Slusarz said. Heavey was driving a department 2014 Ford Explorer which he had taken delivery of two days earlier. The other motorist was driving a 1997 Honda. 

Heavey went to help the other driver until police arrived at the scene. The chief refused medical attention for neck and back stiffness, according to a police report.

According to the police report, police officers at the scene could smell alcohol on the driver of the second car. The driver, identified as Luis Perea-Manrique, 30, of 331 Locust Ave., Port Chester, NY, complained of neck and back pain and was taken to Greenwich Hospital where police obtained a warrant for a blood sample to test for alcohol.

After receiving test results, police obtained an arrest warrant charging Perea-Manrique with driving while intoxicated, Slusarz said. He surrendered to police Feb. 4. 

It remains unclear whether Perea-Manrique faces any traffic charges. Inside his car, police found unopened bottles of beer and a bottle of liquor. He was released after posting a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear Feb. 19 in state Superior Court in Stamford.

Slusarz said an estimate of the damage to the chief's SUV is still being calculated. In the meantime, Heavey is back driving his old, unmarked Ford Crown Victoria.


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