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Car slams into J.C. Penney

October 31, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A Nissan Sentra crashed into J.C. Penney at Valley Mall on Monday afternoon, leaving only scratches on the building's brick wall and no injuries to the car's two occupants.

The driver of the car, Thomas Allen Linschoten Jr., 21, of 77 Manor Drive in Hagerstown, was charged with driving while impaired, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence per se, driving while impaired by alcohol, negligent driving, disorderly conduct, second-degree assault and obstructing emergency services personnel, Deputy 1st Class Jim Clay said.

The car's passenger, Cedric Debouse, 22, of Hagerstown, was not injured and was not charged, Clay said.

Clay alleged a nearly empty bottle of Vodka was found in the car. He alleged Linschoten assaulted a firefighter who arrived at the scene of the reported 12:44 p.m. accident.

As several deputies and Halfway fire and ambulance crew members worked the scene or stood to the side, a couple of Linschoten's friends arrived and shouted that they were there to pick up the car's occupants and cursed when they were asked to step away from the scene.

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After Linschoten allegedly became disruptive, he was pinned by several deputies to the trunk of the Sentra, the hood of which was popped and dented from the front-end impact into the building.

Maj. Randy Wilkinson said several witnesses saw the car speeding from the area near Chuck E. Cheese's toward the corner of the building. Each of the witnesses independently said the sight was "like a movie," noting that at one point the car appeared to be riding on two wheels, Wilkinson said.

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