SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –Guests at a recognizable motel in Suffolk County got the scare of their lives on Wednesday morning.

Police say someone used his car to intentionally bash through the motel’s front door — attempting to strike patrons and managers before fleeing.

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As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, it’s a motel everyone regularly drives past on sunrise highway in Sayville, but what happened there was anything but routine.

Police said the respected local couple who manage the motor lodge escaped near death when a 36-year-old Selden man climbed behind the wheel of his white sport-utility vehicle and appeared to use it as his personal battering ram to destroy the motel entrance and office.

When the front door shattered the victims dodged and darted away.

“As I woke up I heard a big thump, came out of my room, and this guy running into the hotel like he lost his damn mind,” David Moore said.

Samantha Valle came running out in her bathrobe.

“I heard a squeaking noise, and when I looked out the window, the guy was backing up and slamming into my door. He backed up at least five times he was arguing with one of the guys here over his phone going missing, and then he just went crazy,” she said.

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So crazy she said that he stepped on the gas going through a Sunrise Highway barrier — striking the car of an innocent motorist and fleeing eastbound.

Police identified the suspect as Brian Clark, 36, of Selden.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is accused of ramming his sport-utility vehicle through a Sayville motel’s front door — attempting to strike patrons and managers before fleeing. (Credit: Suffolk County Police)

Police said Clark had gotten into a spat with another and man and had punched him into the face before getting into the vehicle and going on a rampage.

Motel management was mystified, saying they’d never seen Clark before.

“The manager of the Sayville Motor Lodge came out and attempted to intervene. Mr. Clark then targeted him with an automobile, and Mr. Clark fled the scene. He was found in the immediate area in a damaged automobile,” Suffolk County Police Chief of Department, Stuart Cameron said.

The suspect tried running from police, they said he didn’t get far and was placed under arrest.

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Clark was charged with assault, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment. Investigators say his alleged crime spree could have proved fatal.