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Cops: Drunk Man Drove Into Street Sign, Bushes

The following arrest information was supplied by the Morristown Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction.

say a drunk driver plowed through Belgian Block curbing, a traffic control sign and a steel decorative column before finally stopping in the bushes of a Franklin Street residence in Morristown. And then, police say, the driver tried to hide and lie his way out of getting in trouble.

Police arrested and charged Michael Mathisen, 24, of Union Hill Road in Madison with driving under the influence, reckless driving and careless driving at 4:15 a.m. on April 13.

According to the report filed by Morristown Officer Eric Petr, the vehicle, a green 1997 Subaru, had been driven off the road. Petr noted in his report having seen the same vehicle earlier in the evening, driven by a white male in a green T-shirt.

That same white male, later identified as Mathisen, was soon found hiding behind a large trash bin on the western side of the house, according to the report.

Police asked Mathisen if he had been driving the Subaru that was in the bushes at the house, and he said he hadn't, according to the report. He also said he did not have any identification at that time but later was able to produce his license, according to the report.

Mathisen's license identified him as a Madison resident, even though he'd said he lived at the Franklin Street home, according to the report. He also said he lived in Hopatcong, according to the report. And when asked why he was hiding behind the bin, Mathisen said he wasn't hiding but, "he was just standing there after the accident, watching the police," the report states.

When again asked why he was at the Franklin Street residence, Mathisen said his girlfriend, Charlotte, lived there, according to the report. When asked her last name, Mathisen said he didn't know, it states.

Police went over to the Franklin Street residence where Charlotte lived, and she said she knew Mathisen but was not dating him—that she had only met him the week before, at , according to the report. She said she had gotten a text from him earlier asking if she wanted to hang out, but she declined, according to the report.

She told police she was asleep at the time of the accident, but her roommate told her about it, according to the report. Following that, Charlotte went out to her balcony and saw Mathisen, who told her he had just driven his Subaru into the bushes, according to the report.

Despite previously saying he had been drinking wine and beer earlier in the evening, Mathisen then said he had not been drinking at all, and had not driven the car, but had actually been with Charlotte—his girlfriend—all night, according to the report.

Mathisen was arrested and transported to , where a breath test indicated his blood alcohol level was .16 percent, or double the legal limit of .08 percent.

Mathisen was later released into the custody of his father.

For any questions about this post, email john.dunphy@patch.com.

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