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Monday, January 18, 2021

‘Drunk driver’ who crashed car through outdoor NY restaurant charged

A New York man, 61, has been charged with drink driving after speeding out of a parking garage in his Mercedes and plowing through the outdoor dining area of a Cuban restaurant.

Eliot Kurland, from Battery Park City, was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment and reckless driving following the crash in the heart of Manhattan’s West Village Wednesday afternoon. 

Police said the 61-year-old was pulling his black Mercedes out of the Enterprise rental garage on Thompson St. and W. Third St in Greenwich Village around 4:30pm when he lost control of the vehicle. 

The car hurtled forward into the canopied outdoor dining area of Cuba restaurant and came to a stop just feet from the entrance to the indoor area.

The outdoor dining area was empty at the time and no customers or staff were injured.



Police said the driver was taken to Bellevue Hospital for minor injuries.   

A New York man, 61, has been charged with drink driving after speeding out of a parking garage in his Mercedes and plowing through the outdoor dining area of a Cuban restaurant

Dramatic surveillance footage captured the moment the car sped out of the garage, narrowly missing two pedestrians who had just walked past, before plowing through the seating area. 

Images taken of the aftermath show the outdoor dining area totally destroyed while restaurant staffers have spoken out about the terrifying ordeal.  

Viviana Borda, a manager at Cuba, told NBC New York it sounded ‘like a bomb’ had gone off and patrons began screaming and running for cover when the car hit.




‘We heard a big sound, it was like a bomb… we heard also screaming because we had two customers that were yelling,’ she said. 

‘When we turn around, we saw the car that had just drove through.’ 

Borda said some customers ran all the way back to the bathroom in fear.

‘We just were screaming, yelling,’ she said.

‘Everyone was yelling, and we were asking each other if everyone was OK. The customer was saying just call 911.’   

Eliot Kurland, from Battery Park City, was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment and reckless driving following the crash in the heart of Manhattan's West Village Wednesday afternoon. The crash above

Eliot Kurland, from Battery Park City, was charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment and reckless driving following the crash in the heart of Manhattan’s West Village Wednesday afternoon. The crash above

Police said the 61-year-old was pulling his black Mercedes out of the Enterprise rental garage on Thompson St. and W. Third St in Greenwich Village around 4:30 p.m. when he lost control

Police said the 61-year-old was pulling his black Mercedes out of the Enterprise rental garage on Thompson St. and W. Third St in Greenwich Village around 4:30 p.m. when he lost control

The car hurtled forward into the canopied outdoor dining area of Cuba restaurant and came to a stop just feet from the entrance to the indoor area

The car hurtled forward into the canopied outdoor dining area of Cuba restaurant and came to a stop just feet from the entrance to the indoor area

Another worker at the restaurant told New York Daily News Kurland was driving ‘crazy fast’ and that the crash broke the restaurant’s plate glass window and damaged its wooden frame.    

Police said Thursday Kurland had been charged over the incident and was awaiting arraignment. 




While relieved everyone escaped unscathed from Wednesday’s events, the crash has come as a blow to the restaurant. 

Borda told NBC that times were already tough due to COVID-19 restrictions and that many customers are still nervous about indoor dining.

‘It’s been very difficult, yes, because especially when they decided to open inside, most of the customers wanted to sit outside because they’re afraid of the COVID,’ she said. 

Borda voiced concerns that customers could now be fearful for their safety in outside areas.

The owners also told the outlet they did not yet know how many thousands of dollars it will cost to repair the outdoor area or when it will be back up and running.  

The outdoor dining area was empty at the time and no customers or staff were injured. Images taken of the aftermath show the outdoor dining area totally destroyed

The outdoor dining area was empty at the time and no customers or staff were injured. Images taken of the aftermath show the outdoor dining area totally destroyed

Source: Daily Mail

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