Montville Man Arrested after Single Car Crash on Horseneck Road

Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of Rene Panchi-Perez (29) of Montville, N.J., for the criminal charge of operating a motor vehicle during a period of license suspension following a second DUI conviction and with the motor vehicle violation of driving under the influence on March 9, 2021.

On that date, at approximately 3:26 PM, Officer James Ciampi was flagged down by a motorist and informed that there was a single car motor vehicle crash that just occurred near 300 Horseneck Road. Officer Ciampi and other officers responded to the scene and discovered a 2020 white Jeep Cherokee on the front lawn of the residence with heavy front-end damage.

The lone occupant and driver was found to be Panchi-Perez who was able to crawl out of the passenger side front door. As the officer was speaking with him, it is alleged that Panchi-Perez displayed signs and symptoms consistent with being under the influence to included being confused, stumbling and staggering, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath.

During this investigation, it was discovered that only a few minutes earlier, there was a hit and run accident in Montville on Hook Mountain Road involving a newer white Jeep Cherokee. It is was later confirmed that this was the vehicle allegedly involved in that accident. Further investigation also led to the alleged discovery of open alcoholic beverage bottles inside of the passenger compartment of the Jeep.

Based upon the totality of the circumstances, Panchi-Perez was placed under arrest. He was transported, by ambulance, to St. Joseph’s Medical Center for a precautionary examination accompanied by police officers. While at the hospital, it is alleged that Panchi-Perez refused to have blood drawn for the purposes of determining his blood alcohol content. At this point, Fairfield officers obtained a search warrant which authorized blood to be taken for this purpose. He was eventually released from the hospital and transported to police headquarters for processing.

In addition to the previous charges filed against Panchi-Perez, he also received eleven other motor vehicle summonses. Officers also filed a charge of lending a motor vehicle to circumvent an interlock requirement against his wife, Zitlali Nieto, after the investigation revealed that she allegedly allowed her husband to operate the Jeep knowing that his license was suspended because of a driving while intoxicated conviction.

Panchi-Perez was released on his own recognizance pending an initial appearance in the Superior Court in Newark, N.J. on April 9, 2021.

(It should be noted that the charges against Panchi-Perez and Nieto are merely allegations and that both are presumed innocent until they either plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law)

Authorized by: Chief Anthony Manna

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