Alleged drunk driver crashes into Statehouse Convention Center

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The Statehouse Convention Center was severely damaged Friday morning after an alleged intoxicated driver crashed into the building.

Officers were called to a hit and run accident downtown around 2 a.m. When police arrived on the scene, the security officer at the Statehouse Convention Center told police a white male drove into the building then left his damaged vehicle headed towards the Marriott Hotel.

Little Rock police found Phillip Troppoli inside of a stairwell at the Marriott smelling of alcohol and appeared unsteady on his feet with slurred speech. The suspect also had minor cuts to the left side of his face suggesting he could have been involved in an accident.

LRPD said a witness Brandon Dorse who was working the door at a nearby nightclub saw Troppoli walking on the sidewalk in front of the club talking to himself appearing intoxicated. He then got into his vehicle and drove off hitting the rear of another car in the process. He "zig zagged" up the street "nearly hitting a pole" before striking the Convention Center building.

The owner of the rear ended vehicle Jessica Sims told officials she got into her car to retrieve personal items when the suspect hit her car damaging the rear bumper and lower passenger side. She was not hurt during the accident.

Troppoli refused to allow the hospital to draw blood and also refused to take a blood alcohol concentration test.

He was charged with DWI, careless and prohibited driving, and Refusal Act 106.

The damage to the Convention Center is estimated at $15,000.