Vehicles Driven by Allegedly Drunken Drivers Strike Two Police Cars on Same Day

County police said the officers were working as part of the Holiday Alcohol Task Force


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File photo of police sobriety checkpoint

File photo/ Aaron Kraut

Vehicles driven by suspected drunken drivers collided with two different police cruisers within an hour of each early Sunday morning, according to Montgomery County police.

No one was injured in the collisions that involved a county police car and a Gaithersburg Police Department cruiser. Both officers driving the cruisers were working as part of the county’s Holiday Alcohol Task Force, which is deployed throughout the county to detect alcohol-related offenses.

The first incident happened at 2:41 a.m. Sunday when a county officer made a traffic stop near the intersection of Georgia and Dennis avenues in Silver Spring—just north of the Forest Glen Metro station. During the stop, a Toyota Camry that was passing by sideswiped the officer’s vehicle and drove off, police said. The officer returned to his vehicle, pursued the Camry and then stopped it nearby. When the officer told the driver, 23-year-old Hector Orlando Romero of Hyattsville, to place the Camry in park, Romero instead placed the car in reverse and backed into the officer’s unoccupied cruiser, according to county police

Police said Romero later consented to a breath alcohol test that found his blood alcohol content to be .19—more than double the .08 legal limit in Maryland. Romero was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and other traffic-related offenses, according to police.

In the second incident, which happened at 3:39 a.m. Sunday, a Gaithersburg police officer responded to a call about a possibly impaired driver in a Ford Focus near the intersection of Great Seneca Highway and Longdraft Road in Gaithersburg. Police said the officer located the vehicle as the driver crossed the center line into oncoming traffic while attempting make a right turn on Mateny Road. When the officer turned on his lights, the driver crossed back over the center line, then struck a curb and the center median without stopping.

Police said the Focus then started traveling faster and rear-ended a parked car. After that, the driver, 49-year-old Delio Hillario-Milan of Rockville, stepped on the gas pedal, causing the vehicle’s tires to spin as it pressed up against the parked car. Police said Hilario-Milan then put the vehicle into reverse, striking the Gaithersburg officer’s patrol car. The driver then placed the car back into drive and collided with a curb on Mateny Road. At that point, officers were able to remove him from the vehicle as he continued to step on the gas pedal, according to police.

Hillario-Milan was also charged with driving under the influence and other traffic-related offenses after a breath test found he had a blood alcohol level of .18.

County police spokesman Rick Goodale said the county police car received minor damage in the first incident, but that he did not know the extent of the damage done to the Gaithersburg police vehicle.

The holiday alcohol task force began Nov. 16 and since then police have made 136 arrests for driving under the influence, according to statistics provided by county police.

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