Man arrested after multiple crashes

Police say he was driving drunk down a Newport Beach street, ultimately stopping on a lawn.

August 20, 2010|By Joseph Serna,
(Courtesy Karen…)

CORONA DEL MAR — A Lynwood man was arrested this morning after police said he got behind the wheel drunk and, from a review of a police account, essentially played bumper cars down a Newport Beach street before coming to a stop on a front lawn.

Joshua Mario Muniz, 24, was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk and felony vandalism in the 200 block of Larkspur Avenue in Corona del Mar about 3:44 a.m.

Newport Beach police said that Muniz deliberately drove into cars in the beachside neighborhood before he ended his rampage, crashing into a wall causing thousands of dollars in damage.

"He made a b-line for our house," said Karen Lyons, who heard the crashes before Muniz allegedly crashed onto her front lawn.

She estimated the damage at up to $40,000. She said her husband built their house with his bare hands 10 years ago and put a double-thick wall in the front.


Lyons estimated Muniz hit at least three other cars on the street.

"Everyone is saying all they could hear was screeching and a thump, screeching and a thump," she said.

Neighbors reported seeing Muniz arguing with a girl in the neighborhood moments before the crashes, Lyons said.

Police are continuing to assess the damage.

"There are numerous reports on this that have not been completed," said police Sgt. Steve Burdette.

Muniz was transferred to Orange County Jail this afternoon. A court date has not yet been sent.

Muniz has a history of Orange County driving violations. He is waiting to be arraigned on his third misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license, which came less than three months after a conviction on the same charge in September.

He was convicted of driving on the wrong side of the road in Huntington Beach in 2007.

In 2006, he was convicted for driving on a suspended license, not having proof of insurance and being in possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. In 2005, he was convicted of stealing a car and grand theft auto, court records show. In 2004, Costa Mesa police pulled him over for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

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