A cop that was on patrol was understandably perplexed when he witnessed a black sedan traveling down the road with a street sign protruding through the sunroof. As he prepared to pull the driver of the vehicle over, identified as Maria Vazquez, she made a turn into a diner parking lot. And, when confronted, was seemingly unaware of the sign.
South Hackensack, New Jersey police officer David Polanco spotted the peculiar sight and approached 52-year-old Vazquez after she entered the parking lot of the Plaza 46 diner. Describing the experience, Polanco stated in an interview, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“She stopped because she stated that she heard a strange noise coming from underneath her vehicle,” said Polanco.
According to a report by CBS News, police stated that Vazquez appeared drunk, leading them to administer two sobriety tests and a separate breathalyzer test, all three of which she failed.
Vazquez was seemed to be completely unaware that there was a large sign sticking out of her sedan.
“When I pointed it out to her, she said, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know that was there,’” said Polanco. “But there was glass all over the inside of the car and all over the top of the car.”
Police have stated that if the sign, which they believe was made of steel, had entered the vehicle while Vazquez was in the car and been just a few inches closer to her, she could have sustained a serious injury or even been killed.
Polanco added, “If there was anyone in the backseat, it could have been a lot worse as well.”
Vazquez told law enforcement that the sign might have been in her vehicle from approximately eight miles from Secaucus, as that is where she had been drinking.
However, she doesn’t know how the sign got into her vehicle in the first place, and police don’t have a clear answer on that part of the puzzle either.
Peggy Harnett, a Lodi resident, wondered if “she either hit it” or if “somebody actually maybe just picked it up and put it in there.”
Ultimately, after the failed sobriety tests, Vazquez was charged with driving while intoxicated.