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[whitespace] Injury accident due to problem with car, not domestic dispute

Campbell--Witnesses of an incident on Aug. 27 at Home Depot, 480 E. Hamilton Ave., told police they thought a man was intentionally trying to run his wife over with a car, but the whole thing turned out to be just a bizarre accident.

"We got a call of a person who was ramming other cars in the parking lot at Home Depot," Campbell Police Capt. Russ Patterson said. "Contrary to what all of the witnesses said, it was an accident."

Patterson said a middle-aged Asian couple were having severe car problems that Monday afternoon. The 55-year-old man, who was driving a four-door Mercury Tracer first backed into a car, then pulled forward two aisles and struck another car. At this point, the man's wife got out of the car.

"She got out of the car to supposedly check to see if they'd hit anything else," Patterson said. "He backed up again and hit her--pinned her against another parked car. One more time, he pulled forward and hit another car, causing that car to hit two more cars. Then folks from Home Depot got him stopped and got things under control. It seemed kind of odd because it happened so fast."

The woman sustained a broken leg and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Her husband was taken in for questioning.

At first, police thought it was a cut-and-dry domestic violence case, but one barrier stood between them and the truth--the couple doesn't speak English. On Monday afternoon, Patterson said police obtained the services of a court-appointed interpreter who speaks the couple's language. The interpreter interviewed the man and his wife separately. He said the incident had been a mistake and something was wrong with their car.

"We did detect a slight reverse problem [with the car]," Patterson said. "This is one of the most bizarre cases that I've seen in a long time."

Two of the seven cars damaged in the accident were towed.
Erin Mayes

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