ST. CHARLES – An Elburn man in town for the St. Patrick's Parade came within three feet of hitting a police officer and a civilian with his car Saturday night as he barreled down South Riverside Avenue with a blood-alcohol content about three times the legal limit, according to a St. Charles Police Department report.
Two police officers were talking with a man and a woman along Riverside Avenue when a motorist later identified as Roger Eugine Loeb reportedly sped down the road at about 9:16 p.m.
The woman and an officer were facing south on the sidewalk next to a 30-inch tall retaining wall in the 1600 block of Riverside Avenue when the officer heard a loud noise behind them, police reported. The officer reportedly looked back and saw a vehicle had hit a speed limit sign and was headed directly at them.
Picking the woman up around her body, the officer reported he jumped over the retaining wall and covered her body with his.
Although the vehicle hit two mailboxes, it reportedly missed the officer and woman by about three feet. However, one metal mailbox hit the officer's upper left leg, and part of the wooden post impaled his ballistic vest, police reported.
"[A witness] said he thought we both had been hit and were going to be dead," the officer reported, noting the woman was shaken but appeared unharmed.
Police reported the speed limit sign was sheered in half, and pieces landed 67 feet away despite being cemented in the ground with a metal brace.
The vehicle, which had left the road for about 197 feet, reportedly re-entered the roadway and drove toward the other officer, who was with the man. The officer shoved the man out of the way, he reported, noting the vehicle – a black Jeep – somehow missed both squad cars parked nearby.
The second officer followed the Jeep, which swerved from curb to curb at 60 to 70 mph in a 35 mph zone, police reported.
The officer tried to box in Loeb near Route 38 in Geneva, where other cars were stopped in traffic, but the attempt failed because the traffic light changed, police reported.
Loeb reportedly appeared unaware of the officer's air horn and siren but eventually did stop, the officer reported.
The officer, who was assisted by Geneva police, reported Loeb could barely stand.
"He continued to ask what he'd done wrong," police reported, adding Loeb claimed he was unaware of an accident when questioned at the police station.
Loeb reportedly told police he came to St. Charles for the St. Patrick's Parade and began drinking at various west side downtown bars between noon and 1 p.m.
His blood-alcohol content was 0.243 percent, police reported. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.
Loeb, 47, of the 1S000 block of Thorndon Ridge Drive, Elburn, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, hit and run, speeding, improper lane use and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
He posted $300 bond and is expected in court on April 17.