There are bad parking jobs, and then there are bad parking jobs.
Residents of a block in Little Italy woke up on Sunday to find debris strewn across the street after witnesses said two drunken men in a large van tried to parallel park atop a stand of Bixis self-service bicycles, flattening it.
Police are investigating the hit and run, which also damaged at least half a dozen cars parked on the block as the offending driver appeared to drive back and forth, bouncing on other vehicles, before making a long attempt to park above the Bixis.
No one was injured in the incident, police said. However, there appears to be tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage in this block alone.
The sound of the destruction around 3:00 a.m. at 3:30 a.m. was so loud that it woke up many people on the street – rue De Gaspé below rue Dante – including Alex Chartrand, who witnessed this happened from his window.
“There was a black truck, a kind of van … he was going back and forth because he wanted to park, I don’t know where,” says Chartrand, pointing to the old Bixi station.
He would ride “over” the bikes, “again and again,” she said.
The bike stand is right next to Dante Park, a very popular picnic and gathering spot in the heart of Little Italy, often frequented by families with young children.
According to neighbors, the noise lasted at least half an hour. Most thought it was someone who repeatedly revved his engine and didn’t realize he was repeatedly trying to park.
The kill trail started at the south end of the block, but when the big pickup got to the north end, next to the park, it seemed to hit cars from all angles – It rolled right at the above the bike rack and into the wrought iron railings of the park, twisting them, while hitting a car across the street.
That was before the driver started focusing on his version of parking, with him and his passenger occasionally getting out of the car to check on their work, Chartrand said.
“It was two guys, but they were really, really, really drunk. They kept getting out of the car and they couldn’t walk,” she said.
“I think that initially [place] there was only one accident, as they seemed to lose control and go into the fence,” she said.
“When he came back [from spinning out] it was always moving forward and backward and always hitting all the bikes and stuff. For 20 minutes he did this before he decided to leave,” she said.
The destruction of this section of the Bixi booth was complete, but Chartrand said it seemed highly unlikely from what she saw that the men were actively trying to destroy the bikes.
“Looks like he wanted to park,” she said, shrugging. She hadn’t spoken to the police yet.
Bixi terminals have only been reappearing in Montreal for a few days.
Others whose cars were damaged were woken on Sunday by police knocking on their doors, including Kelly Frost, whose Honda Civic lost a window and its side mirror, as well as tire tracks left all over the driver’s side.
“You can see the tire rubber on the side of the car,” she said. “It came on my car.”
Police told her they suspected a drunk driver, she said.
Police spokeswoman Mariane Allaire Morin told CTV News the incident was ruled a hit-and-run and there were no signs of any injuries.
Officers in this area are very busy interviewing witnesses after a fatal shooting Saturday night a few blocks away on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. and rue Jean-Talon.
They have yet to make any arrests, Allaire Morin said.