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Avedisian Hit & Run Charge Follows March 27 Crash

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[CREDIT: Warwick Mayor's Office] Former Mayor Scott Avedisian, CEO of RIPTA. An Avedisian hit & run charge has followed a March 27 crash damaging three vehicles including his own in the 820 Post Road McDonald's drive-thru.
[CREDIT: Warwick Mayor’s Office] Former Mayor Scott Avedisian, CEO of RIPTA. An Avedisian hit & run charge has followed a March 27 crash damaging three vehicles including his own in the 820 Post Road McDonald’s drive-thru.
WARWICK, RI — Scott Avedisian, RIPTA CEO and former Warwick Mayor, has been charged for a hit & run by Warwick Police for a March 27 crash.

 

Friday, WPD Chief Brad Connor said the department was investigating the hit & run that occurred at 6:14 p.m. at the in the 820 Post Road McDonald’s drive-thru.

Connor said the crash was a rear end collision that struck one vehicle causing it to hit a second. There was minor damage to all vehicles and no reported injuries. The suspect vehicle, described as a black Ford Explorer, left the scene.

While Connor would not identify the suspect in the investigation at the time, court records show Avedisian was cited for failing to stop after a crash, Duty to Give Info, Render Aid, Report Accident To Police, statute 31-26-3. The offense leading to that citation was on the same day. WPRI12 reported and took photos of Warwick Police detectives at Avedisian’s home, inspecting his black Ford Explorer.

“When the investigation is complete and we’ve made an arrest we will provide additional information,” Connor said Friday.  Warwick Police had not released new information on the case as of noon, but filed a hit and run charge against Avedisian for a March 27 crash in Third Division District Court.

In response to a request today to confirm the WPD investigation was connected to Avedisian’s traffic citation, Connor responded with the investigation report identifying Avedisian as the suspect under investigation in the McDonalds drive-thru crash.

According to the report, officers responded to the restaurant for a report of a black Ford Explorer that had struck two vehicle, a 2010 Mercedes and a 2013 Toyota Camry, in the drive-thru then left the scene. Both drivers told police the Explorer driver asked them to pull to the side in the McDonalds lot to exchange insurance information, but drove away instead. The Mercedes driver followed, and was able to capture a photo of the Explorer and its license plate, RI PC 1LI487, as it drove away, according to the report.

“When he exited the vehicle after he hit me, didn’t say many words. Was in shock, eyes blood-shot red. Told us to pull out of the drive-thru then immediately drove off and ran away,” the Mercedes driver said, according to the report. The driver also told officers the driver, an older white male, “may have been under the influence,” according to the report.

“We were in the car in the McDonald’s drive-thru and a black Ford two cars behind us hit the car behind me, which made the car hit mine. When we got out to confront him, he told us to get his insurance information and instead he drove off,” the Toyota driver told officers.

Officers canvased the area and quickly located the SUV matching the description, at Avedisian’s home according to the report. The SUV had front-end damage, and its engine block was still warm, according to the report. Avedisian did not answer the door after numerous attempts by many officers knocking on his front door, according to the report.

Warwick Police were eventually able to identify Avedisian as the driver of the SUV using security footage from the restaurant.

Avedisian was arraigned this morning on the charge, scheduled for an April 25 pretrial conference, and released on $1,000 personal recognizance. According to the arrest report, he and his lawyer met with officers at Warwick Police Headquarters today after the arraignment, where he was fingerprinted and photographed, then released back to the lobby.

According to Brian Hodge, spokesman for the RI Attorney General’s office, “to avoid a potential conflict of interest with the city’s solicitors handling ths matter, the Warwick Police Department has asked the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute the case, and we have agreed to do so.”

Messages left with RIPTA’s Public Information Officer and Avedisian seeking comment were not immediately returned Wednesday morning. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Avedisian, the city’s longest-serving Mayor, was first elected to the Warwick City Council in 1990 at 25. Avedisian holds the distinction of being the youngest person elected to both the city council and the mayor’s office, at 35. With his 18-year tenure in the mayor’s office, Avedisian was among Rhode Island’s longest-serving mayors at the time he was appointed as CEO of RIPTA in 2018.

 

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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