by: Tony Thomas Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Gwinnett County Taco Bell is only partially open Monday afternoon after a suspected drunken driver smashed through its dining room.
Police said the alleged drunken driver veered off Pleasant Hill Road, smashing into a telephone box, then drove head-on into the restaurant’s dining room area.
“Anyone sitting at those tables near the walls would have been seriously injured,” said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith.
The tables are toppled, windows shattered and it was just the beginning of the damage. Police said Armando Lupercio struck the building and other cars several times.
“Even as the officer approached the vehicle, it seemed like the driver was intent on crashing into the vehicle again or trying to run someone down in the parking lot,” Smith said.
An officer pulled his gun on the 20-year-old and the officer said once out of the car, Lupercio claimed his gas pedal was stuck. His vehicle was heavily damaged after the incident.
Lupercio was taken to the Gwinnett County Jail charged with drunken driving and aggravated assault.
Debris could be seen piled in the parking lot as a contractor took measurements and appeared to be starting repairs. A sign on the door states simply: dining room closed for remodeling.
“We think it was purely accidental, he was under the influence of alcohol,” Smith said.
No one from Taco Bell responded to Channel 2 Action News’ requests for comment.