Crime

Visalia man goes on a drunken Halloween hit-and-run spree, police say

James Putnam, 72, was arrested Halloween night after an alleged drunk-driving spree.
James Putnam, 72, was arrested Halloween night after an alleged drunk-driving spree. Visalia Police Department

An alleged drunk driver went on a collision spree on Halloween night in Visalia.

Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, officers received numerous regarding traffic collisions involving a Chevrolet Silverado.

Suspect James Putnam, 72, was eventually arrested, found seated in his vehicle but attempting to flee the scene, Visalia Police said.

But prior to his arrest, the vehicle Putnam was driving was reported to be involved in five traffic collisions.

The Silverado first struck a mailbox at the 1700 block of S. Garden street and continued driving.

The vehicle then traveled near Walnut and Garden striking a vehicle in a hit-and-run.

Then Putnam went to Tulare Avenue and Ben Maddox Way and struck multiple vehicles.

And the wreckage continued as Putnam headed toward Ben Maddox and near Main Street, where the driver struck a motorcycle, injuring the driver.

Then Putnam continued on Ben Maddox to Ferguson Avenue, where the vehicle struck a few more vehicles and caused another injury before the vehicle crashed into a wall.

Putnam is facing numerous charges including felony hit-and-run and felony DUI.

The people injured, at least two, escaped with minor injuries, police added.

Larry Valenzuela: 559-441-6084, @LarryValWork

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