Witness: Police Captain Tried to Flee

By WBNG News

Witness: Police Captain Tried to Flee

March 20, 2012 Updated Mar 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM EDT

Binghamton (WBNG Binghamton) An intoxicated Binghamton Police Captain tried to leave the scene before authorities arrived after he struck a tree along Vestal Avenue Sunday afternoon.

That's according to an eyewitness who spoke Tuesday exclusively with Action News.

Captain John Shea, Binghamton's supervisor of detectives, was charged with drinking and driving Sunday.

Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Shea was driving a city vehicle when he hit a tree at 1274 Vestal Avenue at around 4:30 Sunday afternoon.

A resident living at that address, who requested not to be identified, rushed outside after he heard the impact.

The man said he spoke briefly with Shea, who said not to call police.

Turns out, another neighbor had already dialed 911.

"We came out front, and there was a car on top of our tree in the front of our house. So we were watching him because he had the cable lines laying on top of his car. I tried to stop him, and he got out of the car, and I said 'Do you want me to call 911?' and he said 'No, I'm OK.' He jumped back in and tried to peel off the tree that he was sitting on top of. That's when the cops showed up. He didn't want to be here," said the witness.

The tree and its stump have since been removed. Only a patch of dirt remains.

Although he was driving a city-owned vehicle, Shea was not on duty Sunday.

Shea is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge later this month.

He is suspended from duty without pay.