Police: Man arrested after driving down City Hall steps, crashing into pole

BOSTON (WHDH) - Police have arrested a man they believe suffers from mental health issues after he reportedly drove down the steps at Boston’s City Hall and crashed into a light pole.

Police responded to a radio call for a crash at City Hall Plaza after 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Upon arriving to the scene, police found a blue Toyota Corolla that had crashed into a light pole that was blocking part of Congress Street.

Witnesses told police that the car had driven onto the sidewalk, entered City Hall Plaza around Washington Street, and drove toward City Hall. The car then turned right and drove down a three-portion staircase, then struck the light pole, which held a crosswalk signal.

Police say it is “miraculous” that nobody was hurt. No pedestrians were struck or injured in the incident.

The driver was identified as Nicholas Hoetzel, 26, of Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Police say Hoetzel left his vehicle and fled the scene of the crash. He was later found suffering from several self-inflicted injuries around the area of 28 State Street.

Hoetzel was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police say he is still at the hospital.

Officers found an open bottle of alcohol in the front passenger seat as well as a gun on the floor of the passenger side of the car. Hoetzel reportedly does not have a license to carry in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.


Officials say they do not believe there was any nexus to terrorism as a result of the incident.

Hoetzel is scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges including unlawful possession of a firearm, negligent operation of a vehicle, and operating under the influence.

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