By Danny Schrafel
A man is facing DWI charges after he crashed his SUV into a Chinese restaurant on Walt Whitman Road in Melville Wednesday night.
Suffolk County Police said John Shepard, 59, of West Babylon, rear-ended a 2015 Chevy while he was driving southbound on Walt Whitman Road in a 2009 Ford. Rather than stop, cops said, he continued driving to the intersection of Schwab Road, then veered into a shopping center and through the window of the Gourmet Wok.
The restaurant was open at the time of the 10:20 p.m. crash, Melville Fire Department officials said. Two employees inside the restaurant escaped injury, police said.
The front portion of the restaurant including the facade and plate glass, and the seating area inside were badly damaged as a result of the SUV barreling through the window.
Building inspectors determined there was “no structural damage,” town spokesperson Betty Walsh said.
About 25 firefighters and rescue personnel were on the scene with two engines, two ambulances, a heavy rescue truck, fire police and first responder unit under the direction of Chief Mike McKeefrey and Assistant Chiefs Paul Mahler and Chris Nolan.
Shepard was charged with DWI and held overnight at the Third Precinct for his scheduled arraignment on Thursday, June 18.