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Police: Drunken driver struck vehicle in Riverside police parking lot

Katherine N. O'Connor | Riverside police

A drunken driver struck a vehicle parked in the Riverside Police Department’s parking lot Saturday evening and then took off, according to police.

Katherine N. O’Connor, 31, of Brookfield was charged with DUI and issued citations for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to give aid or information after an accident, improper turn and improper lane usage, according to Riverside police.

At 6:53 p.m., officers responded to a parked vehicle struck in the police parking lot in the first block of Riverside Road, police said. When officers arrived, O’Connor had already left the scene and was heading out of Riverside toward Ogden Avenue.

The victim whose vehicle was struck followed the driver and called 911, police said.

Police caught up with O’Connor at First Avenue and Plainfield Road in Lyons. The officer immediately smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from her breath, and when asked if she was aware she had been involved in a crash, she said she had no idea she had struck anything.

The officer had O’Connor perform the standard field sobriety tests, all of which she failed, police said. She told the officers that she was coming from a wedding and “did not have that much to drink” and shouldn’t be arrested.

When asked to blow on a Breathalyzer, O’Connor said “maybe God will allow me to blow under,” but was unable to complete the test, police said.

The hit-and-run victim said he had seen O’Connor walking near a pedestrian bridge behind the police department looking “extremely intoxicated,” police said. She got into her car and backed out of a parking spot, striking the victim’s vehicle.

He tried to get her to stop, but she disregarded him and fled the parking lot, police said.

When asked what she was doing in the police parking lot, O’Connor said she had gone there to park her car so she could go to the Des Plaines River and “watch the beautiful water pass by the footbridge,” police said.

“This is just one of several drunk driving arrests made over the holiday weekend,” Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said in a statement.

“However, Ms. O’Connor was so intoxicated she drove into a police parking lot, committed a hit and run while she was drunk and then fled the scene. Her intoxication was so severe that she had no idea where she was or even what suburb she was in,” Weitzel said.