A Connecticut man police were trying to stop for a hit-and-run crash fled from officers and crashed his vehicle into a Near East Side apartment building and the Batch Bakehouse early Wednesday, temporarily closing the bakery and leaving a street-level dwelling without a facade.
Christopher M. Brunetto, 29, of Fairfield, Conn., was tentatively charged with a fourth drunken driving offense, hit and run and eluding officers, Madison police said.
Brunetto suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital where he was admitted for observation, said police spokesman Joel DeSpain.
A person sleeping in the apartment building at 1505 Williamson St., which suffered significant structural damage, was not injured, DeSpain said.
Susan Detering, a co-owner of Batch Bakehouse at 1511 Williamson St., said one employee was in the bakery at the time of the crash and also was not injured.
"All I know is that we're blessed," Detering said.
The bakery was closed Wednesday and will remain closed Thursday, said Detering, who hopes to be able to resume wholesale production Friday and limited retail hours Saturday.
The western corner of the building housing the bakery's pastry operation will have to be rebuilt, she said.
The bakery — which supplies baked goods to the Willy Street Co-op, Metcalfe's Market and several local restaurants — has plans to move to a larger location at 1402 Williamson St. in January.
According to police, the first crash, a hit-and-run, was reported at 1:06 a.m. in the 100 block of South Bedford Street near the Echo Tap tavern.
The second crash, just over 10 minutes later, was about 20 blocks to the east, where Brunetto's vehicle struck the apartment building, two parked cars, a light pole and the bakery.
DeSpain said an officer responding to the first crash saw Brunetto's vehicle as it was about to turn onto John Nolen Drive from Broom Street. The officer attempted a traffic stop, but Brunetto sped off onto Williamson Street, where he struck a concrete median but regained controlled of his vehicle.
The officer lost sight of the vehicle because of a rise in the road and was about to stop the pursuit when she came upon the crash, DeSpain said.
He said the officer's estimated speed was 55 mph before the crash, and there was little traffic in the area.
Bill Novak of The Capital Times contributed to this report.