BOISE -- A man who crashed into cars and drove through yards in a Boise neighborhood Friday morning met his match when residents banded together to take him down.
The bizarre spree started at about 11:15 a.m. when the suspect's vehicle - a purple Jeep Grand Cherokee - slammed into another car on the Eagle Road offramp.
Instead of pulling over, the man sped away, crashing into several more vehicles over the next mile-and-a-half, Boise Police Lt. Stan Niccolls said. Damage to each car likely totals more than $1,000 each, he added.
"Between there and here he hit at least three other cars," Niccolls said. "We think there might be more that we haven't heard of yet."
Some of the other drivers who had been hit were determined not to let the suspect get away, and followed the fleeing SUV, police say. As the man swerved into a neighborhood near the intersection of Lizaso Avenue and Domingo Street, he lost control, veering into a yard and through a large wooden fence.
"He crashed through the fence - he went through one side of the fence, drove through the yard, and came out the other side," Niccolls said.
The sound of the crash brought residents out of their houses, where they saw the suspect trying to get out of his car, police say. Multiple people grabbed the man, taking him to the ground and holding him down until officers arrived.
The man identified as 39-year-old Nicholas D. Williams of Boise was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released before being taken into police custody. He was then booked into the Ada County Jail on charges of driving under the influence and four counts of leaving the scene of an accident. All are misdemeanors.
Niccols praised the group effort to take the man into custody.
"It wasn't just one person, it was several neighbors," he said. "That's the great thing about Boise, Idaho is that neighbors just come out in force."
However, Niccolls cautioned would-be Good Samaritians not to take on a dangerous situation if they are alone. Instead, witnesses should hang back, try to keep an eye on a suspect, and call police, he said.
But without the neighbors' help, catching the hit-and-run driver would have been much harder, he added.
"He'd probably be running through the block somewhere," Niccolls said.
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