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, dart down the walls and pass through the door and window frames inside the living room of a two-story home on Roanoke Avenue near Pulaski Street.

Three windows facing the side yard are off-kilter, the venetian blinds casting crooked shadows on the couch nearby. The thin floor has buckled by the white door, which rests on busted hinges. Outside, the door is worse, and a wooden walkway has been reduced to a pile of splinters, as if something large took a bite out of it.

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 guy” has been identified as 37-year-old Ralph Mims III, who police allege fled from the car that crashed into the house Saturday night and then tried to punch a police officer while being arrested.

Police records show Saturday night wasn’t the first time the Riverhead man has tried to flee from the cops.

According to a 2012 report in The Suffolk Times, Mr. Mims — 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 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 run because his driver’s license was suspended.

Less than a year later, Mr. Mims was arrested again after a Southold police officer in Greenport smelled marijuana coming from his car, police said. After being questioned, Mr. Mims again tried to escape on foot, according to the report. As he ran, authorities said, Mr. Mims was seen tossing an item from his pocket. After he was caught, police 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 available.

In this latest case, according to court records, Mr. Mims allegedly crashed the vehicle into the corner of the Roanoke Avenue house about 9:05 p.m. Saturday. He then got out of the car, and was approached by a police officer.

At that point, he allegedly tried to punch the officer, then ran north on Roanoke Avenue, 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 he 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 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. Two of his nieces had been sitting in the living room watching TV when the car plowed into the home Saturday night. Neither was harmed, he said.

A few feet to the right and the car would have struck the electrical lines and likely started 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 in between relieved laughs. “It’s crazy.”

Mr. Duarte said his family will 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)