NEW YORK – An allegedly drunk driver crashed into the historic marble arch in Washington Square Park on Sunday, injuring a police officer who was stationed there to protect the arch, police said.
According to a police spokesman, a Nissan Altima, driven by Jeremy Molina, a 25-year-old resident of Queens, collided with the archway, before 1:30 a.m. Sunday, just at the north entrance of the park located in the Greenwich Village.
The Nissan then hit a cruiser that was parked near the arch, police said. The officer inside the car was taken to a hospital with neck and back pain. The bow was not damaged.
Molina was arrested on charges including reckless danger, driving while intoxicated and refusing to take a breath test. It is unclear if he has an attorney who can comment on the charges.
The arch, designed by architect Stanford White and installed in 1892, commemorates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 as president.
It has been guarded by police officers since June, when its two Washington statues were vandalized with red paint during weeks of protests against racial injustice.
It’s a familiar sight for audiences from movies like “When Harry Met Sally” and is a popular New York City tourist attraction.