CBS2 Exclusive: Friend Says Alcohol Likely Factor In Ridgefield Hit-Run

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some residents in Ridgefield woke up Friday to find someone had crashed into their cars and took off.

Mangled metal, broken glass and parts of two separate vehicles were found smashed to pieces along Maple Avenue.

“I came out. The police are here, and my car’s on the sidewalk,” said Valerie Matos. “There’s so much damage to it, my car was actually on top of my neighbor across the street’s front hood.”

The front and side of Matos’ SUV were hit so hard that the tire almost came off, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported.

Ridgefield Hit and Run

Some residents in Ridgefield, New Jersey woke up Friday to find someone had crashed into their cars and took off. (credit: CBS2)

“This is not the way to wake up in the morning, to find out that your car is so severely damaged,” Matos said.

“I just heard a loud bang, woke up, my dogs were barking, and I came outside,” said Mark Petesa, the owner of the other damaged car.

He found the front of his car bashed in and the person responsible nowhere to be found. His car was about to get towed away as he spoke to CBS2.

A man claiming to be a friend of the accused hit-and-run driver told Liverman in an exclusive interview that alcohol may have been a factor.

Steve Perez said he was with the driver right before it happened and they had been drinking. Perez said that she dropped him off right before hitting the two vehicles.

“I made the wrong decision, too. We both did,” Perez said. “I let her grab the keys. She made the wrong decision on grabbing the keys.

“I would have told her more, ‘Let’s just get an Uber or walk home,” he added.

Perez wouldn’t tell CBS2 the driver’s name but says he’s thankful no one was hurt.

“Luckily, nobody else was involved, but she put herself in danger, and that’s not cool,” Perez said. “Her family would have been devastated.”

Police are telling CBS2 this is an active investigation. They haven’t said whether Perez’s friend has been charged.

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