Report: Drunk man crashes into car and middle school in Mt. Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A 57-year-old man was arrested after police say he crashed into a car and a former middle school in Mount Pleasant.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department charged Joseph Robert Cirafisi with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and driving under suspension.

On Wednesday afternoon, a police officer responded to the area of Highway 17 and Six Mile Road in reference to a hit-and-run with injuries.  A witness told police that he was a passenger in Cirafisi's Jeep at the time of the incident and positively identified Cirafisi as the driver.

According to the witness, it all started when he and Cirafisi were at Richard's Bar on Highway 17. Police say Cirafisi offered the witness to give him a ride home in his Jeep to which he agreed to.

The witness said as Cirafisi was driving onto Highway 17, he performed a U-turn at Boone Hall, but Cirafisi pushed down on the gas pedal causing the car to swerve out of control down Highway 17.

A police report states the witness attempted to lift Cirafisi's leg off the gas pedal, but Cirafisi pushed down harder on the pedal as the Jeep continued down the highway.

The witness told police that the Jeep eventually struck another vehicle, then hit the side of the former site of Laing Middle School where the Jeep came to a stop. Investigators say when Cirafisi and the witness came out of the car, Cirafisi asked the witness,"You running right?"

According to the witness, after he replied no, Cirafisi began running towards his home on Gulf Drive. The witness then called police.

Another police officer responding to the incident, went to Cirafisi's house to see if he was home. Before leaving the home, the officer said he saw a man walking in the rain towards him.

The officer was able to positively identify the man as Cirafisi who claimed he did not know where his Jeep was, but admitted that he had been at Richard's Bar where he drank five drinks. According to police, the officer could detect alcohol coming from Cirafisi, and also reported that Cirafisi was unsteady on his feet, his eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred.

As the officer was giving field sobriety tests to Cirafisi, the officer reported that Cirafisi became upset and said comments along the lines of,"Just arrest me."

The driver of the other vehicle was transported to East Cooper Hospital for injuries to her head and left shoulder.

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