Harrison DPW Worker Charged with DUI after a Pedestrian was Struck

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On January 17, 2016, at approximately 2349 hours, Antonio Couto, 62 of Harrison was struck by a Ford Fusion being driven by Ryan Starr, 35 also of Harrison.  Couto suffered a fractured skull and some hemorrhaging on the brain.

Couto made a brief statement at the scene before being transported to the hospital.  He stated he was crossing the street to his home when he was struck.

Starr also made a statement that he did not see Couto crossing the street because there were no street lights. It was observed that although Starr was steady on his feet, his speech was slurred.  Psycho-physical tests were conducted at the scene which Starr failed and he was subsequently placed under arrest for DWI.  He submitted to the taking of breath samples and registered a .21% Blood Alcohol Content.  Starr was additionally charged with Assault by Auto by a Drunk Driver, a third degree charge.

Couto had been in critical but ‘not’ stable condition due to head trauma the day after the accident, but as of this update, University Hospital reports he is alert and talking and doing much better.

According to an official not authorized to speak on the matter, Mr. Starr works for DPW in the City of Harrison and he is also an outstanding individual who has always volunteered working for the community.

Messages to DPW Superintendent Robert Van Riper for comments. have not being returned.

No further information is available.

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