Angry that Taco Bell was closed, Pittsfield man rams ATM vestibule

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PITTSFIELD — A city man was knocked unconscious early Thursday when he rammed his car into an unused ATM vestibule after becoming upset that Taco Bell was closed.

Derrick C. LaForest, 33, allegedly told police he had, "no idea," how he hit the building.

Witnesses said LaForest, of Argyle Road, pulled up to the Taco Bell drive-thru window shortly after 1:30 a.m. and began honking his horn.

When no one answered at the window, LaForest allegedly "laid on the horn for at least two minutes," before a staff member went outside and told him the restaurant was closed.

LaForest then sped through the drive-thru lane and accelerated through the Taco Bell parking lot at high speeds, witnesses said. He then struck a curb, lost control of the car, hit a second curb and smashed into a small structure which formerly housed a TD Bank ATM.

The vehicle's airbag deployed and both it and the building suffered "extensive" damage, according to police.

Several Taco Bell employees went to the car and dragged LaForest's unconscious body out while police were en route.

He had a cut over his eye and refused medical treatment, police said.

LaForest told police he went to the restaurant and when he learned it was closed, drove away and somehow hit the building.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to charges of reckless operation of a motor vehicle and vandalism.

Judge William O'Grady released LaForest on $500 bail and ordered him back in court on May 3 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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