Driver smashes into Greenwich Village outdoor-dining area
A driver slammed into a Greenwich Village restaurant’s outdoor dining area Wednesday — just missing diners and pedestrians.
The 61-year-old driver, who has not been named, pulled out of a Thompson Street parking garage and smashed their black Mercedes Benz into the outdoor dining area at Cuba Restaurant shortly after 4:30 p.m., police said.
Police said the man lost control of the vehicle while trying to make a right turn onto Thompson Street. The car slammed through a divider and sent chairs flying at the eatery, but no diners or pedestrians were injured, police said.
“We almost thought it was a bomb,” said restaurant manager Viviana Borda. “We thought the car was going to come into the restaurant. A lot of panic was going on inside my head.”
“We were just screaming, yelling,” Borda said. “A customer was saying just call 911, call 911!”
She said the driver “looked drunk and smelled drunk.”
Surveillance video from the scene showed the Mercedes Benz flying out of the lot across from the eatery at a high rate of speed.
The restaurant’s owner, who would only give his name as Louie, called it a miracle that no one was seriously injured.
“No one was sitting at a table or walking by at the time — no one got hurt, thank God,” he said. “It’s kind of a miracle.”
The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.
He was taken into custody and police said charges were pending.
Cops responded to the scene, between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street, after receiving a 911 call, the department said.
The crash comes as more Big Apple restaurants are banking on outdoor dining areas to keep them afloat amid social-distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
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