Terry Bridge/The Beacon Herald
Jeffrey Custom Masonry employee Jake Mogk works on the damaged wall next to the cenotaph on Monday August 27, 2018 in Stratford, Ont.

The man accused of impaired driving after police allege his vehicle smashed into a stone wall next to a Stratford war memorial wasn’t at his court appearance Monday because he didn’t have a ride.

Nathaneal Tewelde, 20, from Kitchener was scheduled to appear in a Stratford courtroom at 9 a.m., but nearly seven hours later when there was no sign of him Ontario Court Justice Kathryn McKerlie issued a warrant for his arrest.

Earlier, duty counsel Cathy Boss said a person identifying themselves as Tewelde called and claimed he didn’t have a vehicle to take him to court.

“He has no way to get here today and would like the matter put over to Sept. 4,” Boss said.

Crown attorney Mary Potter said she had some concerns with the request.

“Because he was released on bail before and at that time had agreed to come to court on today’s date, so he had between August the 13th and the 27th to arrange a ride,” she said.

McKerlie asked Boss to call Tewelde back and find out what happened.

“He explained that his parents were supposed to give him a ride, but the vehicle broke down on the roadside this morning,” Boss said after returning the call.

Terry Bridge/Stratford Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network
The damaged wall next to the cenotaph is seen here on Tuesday August 21, 2018 in Stratford, Ont.

At the request of the Crown, McKerlie issued a bench warrant for Tewelde’s arrest shortly before 4 p.m. It’s discretionary based on him appearing in court on Sept. 4.

Tewelde is facing four charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and a pair related to drunk driving along with one count of mischief under $5,000.

Stratford police said a 2007 Jeep Compass was heading north on Erie Street between York and Cobourg streets shortly before midnight on Aug. 12 when it left the road, veered down a grass hill and smashed into a stone wall near the cenotaph and a walking path. The driver, a 20-year-old G2 licence holder from Kitchener-Waterloo, was arrested for impaired driving and two breath samples were both twice the legal limit, police said.

A fourth charge, mischief under $5,000, stemmed from an incident at police headquarters after the arrest, according to police.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Repairs to the monument are expected to cost about $8,000 and take several weeks. Employees from Jeffrey Custom Masonry were on site Monday.

Source: Stratford Beacon Herald