DUII driver plows into Centennial daycare

See why this alleged drunk driver shouldn’t have been behind the wheel of any vehicle, anywhere in outer East Portland – yet, was soon set free

While apparently traveling at a high rate of speed, this Chevrolet SUV smashed through a fence and into the play yard of a Centennial neighborhood daycare.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Workers at the “Happy Angels Daycare”, on SE 155th Avenue near Alder Street, were first terrified, and then relieved, after an SUV tore into the play yard on June 28, just after 3:00 p.m.

Everyone at the scene jumped when the rear tire on a white Chevy Tahoe exploded – after a reportedly drunk driver smashed through the fence and knocked down part of the play structure in the front yard.

It isn’t the fence or the play structure that stopped this Chevy Tahoe; it was the front porch.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers were dispatched to the scene of the smashup – as were Portland Fire & Rescue paramedics – and, initially, six ambulances.

“We’re so thankful that all of the kids were just getting up from their nap; otherwise, they’d all been out in the yard, playing – and, likely, hurt or killed,” said a shaken worker who asked not to be identified: “But no one was hurt.”

It took several neighbors to restrain the driver of this SUV, after he slammed into this daycare’s yard.

“The guy in the SUV – he looked like a Hispanic male in his 20s — was screaming at and struggling with neighbors who were trying to keep him from running away,” a nearby resident told East Portland News.

“Arriving officers took 28-year-old Jose Antonio Calixto Caras into custody,” confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen.

Perhaps 28-year-old Jose Antonio Calixto Caras’ smile reflects relief – despite having caused substantial damage, and endangering more than a dozen kids – that the court then set him free, back into the neighborhood. MCDC booking photo

Calixto Caras was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 3:53 p.m. that afternoon, on charges of DUII (Alcohol), Driving while License Suspended or Revoked, Reckless Driving, and 18 counts of Reckless Endangerment.

Within minutes of this crash, lots of little kids would have been playing in this yard.

Apparently the “Reckless Endangerment” charges were assigned, one for each of the 18 kids and adults who might have been playing in the yard at the time of the crash.

At his arraignment, Calixto Caras learned he’d be held to stand charges, and would stay in jail in lieu of $62,200 in combined bail.

However, an apparently sympathetic Multnomah County District Court judge then released all charges – including a Second Degree Contempt of Court charge – against Calixto Caras on July 1, and set him free.

The judge’s published Release Reason: “Pretrial Services Program” that, according Multnomah County information, “releases defendants prior to trial and supervising them in the community to ensure that they appear at scheduled court hearings.”

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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