Police: After crashing into house, man again runs from cops

A car crashed into this house on Roanoke Avenue Saturday night. Police have arrested a man they say tried to run away on foot. (Credit: Paul Squire)
A car crashed into this house on Roanoke Avenue Saturday night. Police have arrested a man they say tried to run away on foot. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Cracks criss-cross the ceiling and dart down the walls and through the door and window frames inside the living room of a two-story home on Roanoke Avenue near Pulaski Street Monday afternoon.

The three windows facing into the side yard are tilted, the Venetian blinds casting crooked shadows on the couch nearby. The thin floor has buckled by the white door, now resting on busted hinges.

Outside the door is worse, where a wooden walkway has been reduced to a pile of splinters, as if something large took a bite out of the porch.

That something was a sedan.

“It’s f—ing broken,” said Julio Duarte, whose sister-in-law lives in the now-damaged home. “He’s crazy, that guy.”

That man has been identified by Riverhead police as 37-year-old Ralph Mims III, who they allege fled from the car that crashed into the house Saturday night, then tried to punch a police officer being being arrested.

According to police records, Saturday night wasn’t the first time the Riverhead man has tried to flee on foot from the cops.

According to a 2012 report in The Suffolk Times, Mr. Mims — a native of Greenport who was then living in East Marion —was spotted by police driving a vehicle with mismatched license plates. As police tried to stop the car, Mr. Mims instead made a quick turn on a Greenport street, ditched the car and took off on foot.

He was ultimately located and arrested. Police said Mr. Mims told them he had fled because his driver’s license was suspended.

CarLess than a year later, in 2013, Mr. Mims was arrested again after Southold Town police officer in Greenport smelled marijuana coming from his car, police said. After being questioned by police, Mr. Mims again tried to run away on foot, according to the report.

Authorities said Mr. Mims was seen tossing an item from his pocket as he ran. After he was caught, police later found a sock nearby that contained marijuana and three packets of cocaine, police said.

The outcomes of his legal cases in Southold Town were not immediately made available.

In this latest case, he allegedly crashed the vehicle crashed into the corner of the house about 9:05 p.m. Saturday , according to court records. Mr. Mims then got out of the car, where he was approached by a police officer. Instead of stopping, he allegedly tried to punch the officer, before running north on Roanoke Avenue in a bid to escape, according to the court filings.

He was eventually taken into custody up the road, police said.

Mr. Mims had suffered a cut to his face before getting into the fight with police, according to court documents.

Police could not say whether Mr. Mims was the driver of the vehicle, or if another person escaped.

Mr. Mims was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, both misdemeanors, according to the court documents. He was arraigned and held on $1,000 cash bail, a court clerk said.

Outside the Roanoke Avenue home Monday afternoon, Mr. Duarte surveyed the damage to his sister-in-law’s apartment. Two of his nieces had been sitting in the living room watching TV when the car plowed into the home Saturday night. Neither were harmed, he said.

A few feet to the right and the car would have struck the electrical lines, likely starting a fire, Mr. Duarte said. The car also managed to miss the gas, water and heating lines.

“It’s crazy,” he repeated again and again. “It’s crazy.”

Mr. Duarte said his family will likely move out of the damaged rooms into the safer part of the house until it is repaired.

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Caption: Police said 37-year-old Ralph Mims III fled from a car that crashed into a Roanoke Avenue home. (Courtesy photo)