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Saturday, April 21 News

Cops: Intoxicated driver was texting before striking stone wall, overturning

A 24-year-old Hillside Road man, who police said was driving under the influence and texting when he rolled over his car in January, was arrested on a warrant Sunday morning.

Joseph D. Barnett turned himself in at police headquarters, where he was charged with driving under the influence, distracted driving, evading responsibility and failure to wear a seatbelt.

The incident took place early Jan. 24 when police received a call from a Hillside Road resident reporting that a car went off the road, hit a stone wall and flipped onto its side. A witness saw Barnett climb out of the vehicle's passenger side and start to run away.

When officers arrived, Barnett said he had not been wearing his seatbelt and was texting at the time. He said he looked up, and saw the stone wall but could not stop in time, according to the report. A strong odor of alcohol was detected on Barnett's breath, and he admitted to drinking, police said.

Blood tests taken at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport following the accident revealed an elevated blood-alcohol content, police said.

He was released on a $100 bond and is scheduled to appear March 18 in Bridgeport Superior Court.

Updates at the Fairfield Citizen: http://bit.ly/1hLugdA