By Joe Johnson
A resident of Oconee County was arrested this week for going on what might be described as a demolition derby in downtown Athens.
Police said Sean Broderick Clement drove his car on sidewalks, travelled the wrong way on a one-way street, plowed over parking meters and a streetlight before crashing into a building.
The incident happened early the morning of Feb. 2, and after an investigation that relied heavily on footage from downtown video surveillance cameras, police said they arrested Clement, 36, of Watkinsville on three counts of leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident involving more than $500 in property damage.
According to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, an investigation got underway early the morning of Feb. 2 when officers became aware of damage to public and private property downtown.
By reviewing the county’s video footage , officers reportedly reconstructed events that caused the damage:
At about 2 a.m. on Feb. 2, a Honda Accord is seen traveling west on East Broad Street, where it drove onto the sidewalk and struck the corner of the Chick-fil-A building at 101 College Ave., plowing through a counter top and table. The Honda went back onto the sidewalk northbound to East Clayton Street where it drove in the wrong direction on the one-way street and knocked down several parking meters between Hancock Avenue and Dougherty Street.
No one was inside Chik-fil-A at the time it was damaged, as the restaurant closes for business at 10 p.m.
The police report noted that officers were able to match the description of the Honda’s driver to that of a man who was videoed leaving Toppers International Showbar on North Jackson Street at 1:48 a.m. and then sitting on Jackson for a while before stumbling to his car, which he drove to College Avenue, where the trail of damage began.
At 9 a.m. police learned that a Toyota matching the description of the suspect’s car had been towed from South Milledge Avenue to Clement’s home on Arrowhead Road in Watkinsville.
When officers spoke with Clement he was unable to explain the damage to the Honda Accord that was parked in the driveway. He said that he had driven to the strip club in downtown Athens but did not know how his car got damaged.
Based on the video evidence, damage to Clement’s car, and Clement’s admission that he had gone to Toppers the night of the incident, a judge signed warrants for his arrest, according to the police report.
The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office served the warrants on Clement Thursday night. He was later released from custody when he posted a $2,500 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Office.