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Police arrest driver after trail of destruction in Brooklyn Park

Semi-tractor crashes into porch of house
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 17:35:18-05

BROOKLYN PARK, Md. — A one-way street, Doris Avenue gets its share of traffic in Brooklyn Park, but Alphonsine Harley had never seen anything like the multiple-vehicle crash when the front of a tractor trailer nearly ran her over while she was taking out the trash on Sunday night.

“I had grabbed the trash cans. I had come up a little bit and I heard all of this rumbling and tumbling,” said Harley. “I didn’t know what it sounded like. It sounded like a car didn’t have any wheels… like all of the wheels were off of it or something. It kept getting louder so I ran back. I ran back to the house.”

She can laugh now, but just as Harley reached her porch the front end of the tractor trailer crashed into the front of her neighbors’ house, and she would learn later that it totaled as many as 10 vehicles along its path.

“All the cars of the people who live here were all up on the curb, all up in the trees and everywhere. Everyone’s car smashed up, but the little red car,” said Harley. “I don’t know if they were chasing him or he was chasing them or whatever. He ran up on top of the car---the red car.”

The white cab crashed through the brick surrounding the home’s front porch just outside the wall where three people heard it from inside the home.

“Once the truck came to rest against the porch, the driver of the truck trailer did flee the scene, but was apprehended a short distance away,” said Sgt. Kam Cooke of the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

39-year-old James Michael Rzepnicki of Brooklyn faces a series of charges including first and second degree assault, as well as the malicious destruction of property in excess of a thousand dollars.

Police say while he typically drove the rig for a local company, he was not authorized to be using it at the time.

While police are still sorting out what led up to the multiple crashes, one thing is clear---despite all of the damage, no one suffered any injuries.

“If it wasn’t for that porch right there, they would have been in the house,” said Harley. “He was up in the front of the porch. The truck was up in the porch.”

If you have any information, which could help detectives with this case, you’re asked to call 410-222-6135.