A Wauwatosa resident who was brought to a rude awakening in the wee hours Monday called police after he heard and saw a car pass his Swan Park home streaming sparks and screeching like a banshee.
He told officers he awoke after 3 a.m. to his dogs' wild barking – no doubt their sensitive ears were already hurting – and then heard a “horrible loud scraping” growing closer.
He looked out from his home in the 9300 block of Wilson Boulevard to see a late-'90s Camaro pass by, riding, he said, on at least two and possibly three wheel rims and lighting up the street with showers of sparking metal.
At 3:19 a.m., Wauwatosa police found the car stopped in the 9800 block of Ridge Boulevard, just short of reaching Menomonee River Parkway. The car had extensive front-end and passenger-side damage, with the bare right front wheel locked in a position perpendicular to travel and the right rear wheel with only shreds of rubber left on it.
A 23-year-old Waukesha man was sitting in the driver's seat and immediately admitted to being quite drunk – "drunk as (explective)," in fact, as he told them over and over.
But he claimed to have been only a passenger, that he had slept through the whole ordeal and that a friend had been driving and fled. That story did not hold up long, though, as there was no place for a passenger because the rest of the seating in the Camaro was filled with a large variety of used auto parts.
The man blew a .129 blood alcohol level and was arrested for drunken driving, first offense.
Officers then traced scrapes in the pavement for 40 blocks, all the way back to North 60th and West Wright streets, where broken parts of his car were also found. His rear tire was found in the 9100 block of Wright.
No sign of another damaged vehicle or fixed object was found there, so police sent out a bulletin to other jurisdictions about a likely hit-and-run.