A suspected drunk driver who plowed into an NYPD officer's house on Staten Island returned to the scene the day after his arrest to apologize to the family, and NBC 4 New York cameras captured the exchange.
Louis Mester says his family was jarred awake just before midnight Monday when they felt what they was an explosion. They found a Volvo had crashed into the backyard of their Brandis Avenue home in Eltingville, taking out all but one of the posts supporting the deck, crushing a section of the pool, and sending debris and concrete flying all over the backyard.
"We were in the pool earlier -- I'm just glad nobody was in the backyard," Mester told NBC 4.
A driver stumbled out of the mangled car, reeking of alcohol, neighbors said. He offered to pay for the damage and begged Mester not to call police. But it was too little, too late: Mester is an NYPD officer.
"He was moving around crazy, he couldn't stand still, couldn't keep his balance," said Mester.
Mester said cars have been racing down the street behind the house, and that's why he installed surveillance cameras.
"I've lived here eight to 10 years, at least five times a car has landed in the lot" right next to the house, said Mester.
Mester said he's put in a request for a guardrail along Drumgoole Road. The Department of Transportation said the request is under review.
The driver was arrested on a DUI charge but was apparently not in jail for long. He returned to the scene of his alleged crime Monday evening to say he was sorry, but claimed he doesn't remember the accident.
"I don't know," said Michael Spallieri when asked if he was drunk when he crashed. "They're doing toxicology tests. I'll know Thursday or Friday."
Mester didn't have much to say to Spallieri. His only focus now is getting the guardrail approved, and he said he's not letting his kids into the backyard until it's safe.