A Phoenix man has been arrested after police said he drank alcohol in a cemetery, hit four cars, hit a pedestrian, and ran over a tombstone. His girlfriend and three children were in the car at the time.
The incident took place Sunday afternoon at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery near 27th Avenue and Van Buren Street. Police got a call about the risk of injury at the property.
When officers arrived and found the suspect, 26-year-old Rafael-Rodarte, they said he started vomiting as soon as they approached him. When asked why he was throwing, Rodarte told authorities he was “already drunk”.
The driver of one of the cars that hit the road told police that Rodarte was “worried” with him because he had parked where he wanted to park. When the driver told Rodarte that he would not move, Rodarte drove forward, hit the other car, then reversed and hit three other cars, police said.
As people began to walk towards the danger, Phoenix Man, Rodarte ran over a pedestrian, hit a tombstone, and then stopped through the grassy area of the cemetery. Police say he then got out of the car and tried to flee the area.
When police interviewed the accused’s girlfriend, she said they were at the cemetery to visit Rodarte’s father’s grave. Apparently, there was a group in the cemetery who said Rodarte had “problems”, so they left. But when they come back, that group of people is still there. Rodarte’s girlfriend surrounded the car, and Rodarte tried to flee before hitting four cars, a pedestrian and a grave.
After his car stopped, Rodarte came out and his friend told police he had fled to escape the crowd. But the group caught up with him and started attacking him.
After Rodarte was taken into custody, he said he had no recollection of what happened when he arrived at the cemetery, only to be told “he was assaulted by several people,” according to a police report.
Police say several bottles of beer were found in his car, showing signs of weakness. Rodarte also refused to take a blood test, the police report said.
Rodarte was booked into the Fort Avenue jail. He faces charges of serious criminal damage, assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, danger, DUI, and aggravated DUI.