Video: Ill. police stop driver 'for driving with large tree embedded in front grille'
The department used the incident to inform the public not to drink and drive
By Clifford Ward
ROSELLE, Ill. — The Roselle police report may not have captured all the color of the incident. It did, however, get to the heart of it.
"Stopped for driving with a large tree embedded in the front grille," the report reads.
Photos taken by officers in January of the 2004 Lincoln with its arboreal accessory have gone viral since the images were posted on the Roselle Police Department's new Facebook page last week.
The tree was estimated to be about 15 feet tall.
"We didn't stand there and measure it, but it was a big tree," Roselle Deputy Chief Roman Tarchala said Monday.
The Facebook posting had more than 19,000 shares and 13,000 likes as of Monday morning.
The incident took place about 11:10 p.m. on Jan. 23, when a motorist noted the car heading south on Roselle Road and called police. An officer saw the car, presumably without much difficulty, near the Irving Park Road intersection and pulled the driver over.
The motorist, Maryann Christy, 54, of the 500 block of Spruce Court in Schaumburg, told police that she struck the tree somewhere in her hometown, but didn't remember where, Tarchala said. Schaumburg is just north of Roselle.
Officers said the woman smelled of alcohol and failed field sobriety tests. She was cited for driving under the influence, police said. She is due in DuPage County court April 15.
Tarchala said he has been surprised by the amount of attention the pictures have generated.
"We were just trying to be pro-active and put something on our new Facebook page," he said.
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