BOZEMAN — A Bozeman man was arrested Tuesday evening after reportedly crashing his vehicle into a home while a family was inside.
John R. Russo, 42, was seen Wednesday morning in Gallatin County Justice Court on three charges of felony criminal endangerment.
According to charging documents, Russo was arrested after Bozeman Police officers responded to a report of a vehicle that had driven into a home on Ravalli St. in Bozeman on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at 5:35 pm.
When officers arrived, they reported a Chevy truck that had fully entered the home where the front door would normally be. The home is located at a T-intersection of Ravalli and Prairie Ave.
Officers had to enter the home through the garage, due to the damage sustained to the home in the crash. The officers and firefighters evacuated 3 people from the home due to the extreme structural damage to the residence, including exposed electrical wires and flowing water from broken pipes.
After Russo reportedly indicated that he did not require medical assistance, an officer spoke with him and said that Russo was unable to walk in a straight line, was slurring his words and smelled of alcohol.
According to court documents, when the officer asked Russo where he was driving from, Russo replied, "I don't know what else to say right now. I'm a jackass. I don't know what else to say than I suck."
Russo allegedly went on to say he was trying to get home and the homeowner was "unbelievably gracious" to him. Court documents say when the officer asked him how much he had to drink, Russo said "more than I should have."
The officer said in court documents Russo, after failing field sobriety tests, gave a breath sample that showed his blood alcohol content to be 0.245, more than three times the legal limit. He was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Court documents say all three occupants of the home were inside when the crash happened, including a juvenile male who was just feet from where the truck came to rest. Russo reportedly also struck and uprooted a tree that came to rest on the roof of the residence, and the truck's rear right tire was in a bathtub in the home's bathroom. The homeowner allegedly had to stir Russo awake in the driver's seat.
The officer said he charged Russo with three counts of criminal endangerment for creating "a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury" to the three occupants of the home.
In court Wednesday, Russo's bail was set at $15,000, and he faces up to $50,000 in fines and ten years in prison for each count of criminal endangerment. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5.