First reported 6/8/2009 9:29 a.m.

A Palatine man is charged with DUI and several traffic offenses after smashing into two cars and crashing into a garage Sunday evening. Brian H. O’Connell, 22, of 526 Parkside Dr., Palatine, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and disobeying a stop sign, in addition to drunk driving, all misdemeanors.

At about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, police were alerted by security officers at Rush Oak Park Hospital that a man was “smashing into other cars” in the hospital parking lot. The man was gone by the time police arrived. But around that time, another call came in about a car speeding eastbound on Adams and down an alley.

“He struck two cars in the Oak Park Hospital structure,” said Commander Len Jorgensen. A resident of the 500 block of S. Euclid who saw the speeding car said the man “almost took out two cars parked on the street and ended up at the end of Euclid where police drew their guns.”

Jorgensen said police stopped O’Connell twice before he crashed into the garage.

O’Connell allegedly drove away from police the first time and was curbed on the 500 block of S. Euclid, at Madison. Again, police say, O’Connell drove off.

“He accelerated and drove over the curb and into the garage,” said Jorgensen, who said an officer was nearly hit by the racing car. The garage, south of Spike’s Hotel, a boarding center for dogs and cats on Madison Street, sustained heavy damage.

O’Connell continued to resist police after the crash. “He wouldn’t get out of the car,” Jorgensen said. Officers had to take him out of the car and get him to an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released to police.

Jorgensen said O’Connell, who was being held in lieu of $3,000 bond, had a court hearing Tuesday at the Maybrook Courthouse.

-Bill Dwyer

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