PORTSMOUTH - A city man is facing a slew of charges after crashing a vehicle into a business on busy Islington Street and being held at gunpoint by someone at the scene.
According to Portsmouth police, they received a report at 5:24 p.m. of a pickup truck having been driven into a business at 697 Islington St. and a man pointing a handgun at the driver, who was still in the vehicle.
When police arrived at the scene, they were met by the man with the firearm, who had holstered it prior to their arrival, police said. After question him and other witnesses, the driver was taken into custody.
Aaron J. Marconi, 50, of 28 New Castle Ave., Portsmouth, was charged with possession of heroin, a Class B felony, criminal threatening, and four counts of conduct after an accident, all Class A misdemeanors. He also was charged with DWI.
Marconi was admitted to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for undisclosed medical care and was later released from his hospital room on personal recognizance bail, according to police. He's scheduled to be arraigned Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Portsmouth police say there were multiple incidents culminating in Marconi's crash into the building. The first was at the intersection of Hanover and Bridge streets, where Marconia allegedly collided with a parked vehicle damaged severely enough that it had to be towed from the scene, police said. At Islington and Pearl streets, Marconi then struck a second vehicle.
"The third harmful act occurred at 531 Islington St., where the vehicle drove off the road and onto the property of this restaurant causing damage to that business," police said. "The forth harmful act occurred at 697 Islington St., where the suspect drove off the road and collided with the restaurant causing massive damage. The damage was extensive enough to require a response from the Portsmouth Fire Department and the Portsmouth Building Inspector."
The building, which also serves as residential housing to several apartments, was declared structurally sound after inspection, police said.
During the chaos, two separate “good Samaritans” followed Marconia in their own cars, police said.
"When the suspect’s truck crashed in the parking lot, the first Samaritan attempted to prevent the suspect from driving away by blocking the suspect’s vehicle with his own car. The suspect threatened to kill that man and then attempted to back up," police said. "The second Good Samaritan seeing this aggressive action and hearing this threat, warned the first man and instructed him to retreat. The second man then challenged the suspect with his firearm while issuing commands to stop. Moments later the police arrived."
The firearm was seized by police during their investigation but eventually was returned to the unnamed owner.
"Upon determining that the man’s actions were legally justified and that he was lawfully entitled to possess a firearm, his property was immediately returned," police said.
If found guilty, Marconi faces up to seven years in prison and a $4,000 fine for the Class B felony, the Class A misdemeanors are punishble by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. DWI First Offense carries a minimum fine of $500 and driver’s license suspension for up to two years.