NEW CASTLE — An Ellwood City man has been charged for driving over a fire hose .
Michael Joseph Docchio, 51, of 110 Fourth St., was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving over a fire hose, careless driving and failing to obey traffic control devices.
According to police, Ellwood City officers were assisting fire departments fighting a blaze in an apartment building at 221 Fifth Street about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers maintained traffic control and blocked access to the fire, including stopping Fifth Street traffic between Spring and Lawrence avenues. Officers said this was done because of the presence of firefighters and equipment, specifically the hoses connected to hydrants.
The Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department connected a hose to the fire hydrant on the northwest corner of Lawrence Avenue at Fifth Street, police said, running it for a block and a half to the fire.
The officer said he had placed four road flares on the east side of Fifth Street at the Beaver Avenue intersection to restrict westbound traffic and protect the hose. Another flare was placed next to the fire hose to better illuminate it.
However, at 2:20 a.m., police said, a green Chevy Malibu, westbound on Beaver Avenue, stopped at the intersection, then continued through, traveling over the burning flares and the five-inch fire hose. Police said the car turned into the Uni-Mart at the intersection of Beaver Avenue and Sixth Street.
Police said the driver, identified as Docchio, appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He told officers he had left a bar and was headed to the store to buy cigarettes. He said he had not seen the fire hose and was not aware he had driven over it.
Police said the hose, property of the Franklin Township department, is valued at $789.