St. Augustine police say DUI driver hit 7 cars, pushed 1 into hotel

Impact pushes 1 car into the Bayfront Inn, officers say

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A man was arrested on a driving under the influence charge after the St. Augustine Police Department say he hit seven cars, pushing one into the Bayfront Inn early Saturday morning.

Officers said Stephen Carl Nelson, 50, was driving under the influence at 4:02 a.m. when he struck one vehicle, pushing it into the side of the Bayfront Inn. As he was trying to back out, officers said Nelson hit multiple other parked vehicles in the parking lot.

Guest Ross Sacharow, who was staying at the hotel along with other groomsmen in town for a weekend wedding, said it sounded like a bomb. He ran outside to see what was going on.

"It was pretty scary to wake up to that. My girlfriend is a nurse and we were worried someone might be injured," Sacharow said. "He was ramming into a car ... and then he was trying to make a turn around the corner and that’s why we kind of came down to see if anybody else was going to get hit."

Police said no one was hurt but a total of seven cars in the parking lot were damaged.

Nelson was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and property damage. He is being held at the St. Johns County jail on a $2,500 bond.

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