Upstate New York Mayor Hurt Stopping ‘Terrible Tragedy’ In Hudson Valley
A Hudson Valley mayor was injured while trying to stop a potential "terrible tragedy." An Orange County man was arrested.
On Friday, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced a guilty plea in Orange County Court.
District Attorney Hoovler: Guilty Plea in Warwick DWI Case That Injured Mayor Near CVS
Matthew Labar, 42, of Goshen, New York pleaded guilty in Orange County Court to felony DWI.
The guilty plea stems from an incident in Warick outside CVS on July 29, 2023.
Wild Scene Outside CVS In Warwick New York
Court Allegations, Mayor Injured
Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DWI) as a felony. Under the plea agreement announced on the record at the time that Labar pled guilty,
As alleged in documents filed and statements made in court, on July 29, 2023, at approximately 4:15 pm, Labar was seen stumbling on Main Street in Warwick. The Village of Warwick Mayor, Michael Newhard, saw Labar and attempted to help him.
The mayor grabbed Labar's keys as he got into his vehicle, but Labar had a spare set of keys.
He started the vehicle and started to drive while the Mayor was hanging out of the window. Labar proceeded to strike numerous parked cars in the parking lot where he was driving.
Mayor Newhard suffered minor injuries, officials say.
“Mayor Newhard put his personal safety aside to try and stop someone who was clearly impaired from driving that afternoon,” Town of Warwick Police Chief John Rader said. “We appreciate his efforts as well as the efforts to prosecute this case.”
Blood Alcohol Content Over 4 Times The Legal Limit
Labar was eventually arrested on the scene. A subsequent chemical test revealed that Labar’s blood alcohol content was 0.33 percent, over four times the legal limit.
“I commend Mayor Newhard for his selfless and quick-thinking actions that likely prevented what could have been a terrible tragedy,” Hoovler stated. “Drunk drivers put us all at risk through their careless decisions. Incidents such as this one are not accidents, they are serious crimes and perpetrators need to be held accountable. I hope that this case serves as a warning to those inclined to make the same senseless choice made by the defendant in this case.
Faces up to 1-3 Years in Prison
Labar will face 1 to 3 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 12, 2024.