Going to smash into your neighbor's car while drunk? Don't leave your license plate behind

    (Pierce County Sheriff's Department)

    FREDERICKSON, Wash. (KOMO) - A husband and wife in Frederickson, Washington, awoke early Saturday morning to a loud crash and the realization that someone had just crashed into their parked car.

    Good thing the driver left a few obvious clues behind.

    When the couple looked out the window of their home on 28th Avenue East around 6:20 a.m., they saw a damaged, black SUV backing up and driving off, leaving behind its entire front bumper and license plate.

    A call to 911 brought Pierce County deputies to the scene, where they ran the license plate to find the SUV was registered to a home five blocks away -- a home toward which a trail of radiator fluid pointed.

    Deputies knocked on the door to find a rather obviously inebriated man, who admitted he had crashed into the car, but claimed it wasn't a hit-and-run because it was so early -- he didn't want to wake the car's owner -- but would do so later in the morning, investigators said.

    When the deputy told the driver he was going to be cited for hit-and-run, the driver again was adamant he didn't want to wake anyone up and denied he had left because he was drunk.

    The deputy returned to the victims, only to see moments later the driver driving his now-bumperless SUV back to the crash scene to try to retrieve the bumper. The deputy asked why he had just driven over there when he was told he was drunk and he said he was just coming to get his bumper, according to investigators.

    The 28-year-old driver refused any sobriety tests and was arrested for investigation of DUI and hit-and-run. Investigators said he refused a breathalyzer test at the police station, saying, "I know I'm not going to pass."


    EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to show the driver's home was five blocks away from the crash scene, not five houses away.

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