Police: 2 Bystanders Stop Drunk Driving Rampage in Portsmouth

"It could've had a way different outcome if this Good Samaritan didn't step in," Lt. Timothy McCain said

Authorities say a New Year's Eve drunk driving rampage was stopped by two witnesses who jumped into action in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

"The actions of the Good Samaritans in my opinion they saved lives last night," Portsmouth Police Lt. Timothy McCain said. 

Aaron Marconi, 50, of Portsmouth, is facing alcohol- and drug-related charges after his pickup truck was involved in a crash at an Islington Street business New Year's Eve.

Marconi was arrested Monday and charged with possession of a narcotic drug (heroin), and misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated, criminal threatening, and four counts of conduct after an accident.

Police say the sidewalks were lined with families walking to First Night festivities in downtown Portsmouth when Marconi came smashing into a Vietnamese restaurant.

Lt. McCain says multiple 911 calls came in around 5:40 Monday.

Authorities say Marconi left a path of destruction down Islington Street, colliding with at least four other vehicles and hitting a Dunkin' Donuts sign before crashing into the Bahn Mi restaurant.

When Marconi tried to drive off, one witness used his vehicle to block Marconi in, while a second man pulled his gun and ordered Marconi to stop in his tracks, holding Marconi until officers arrived.

"It could've had a way different outcome if this Good Samaritan didn't step in," Lt. McCain said.

Nikki Nachampassak, who owns the Vietnamese restaurant, says she is thankful for the brave witnesses who stepped in.

"They stopped him from leaving the scene, and who knows, it could've gotten worse," she said.

While there is a lot of cleaning up to do before she can reopen her restaurant, Nachampassak is optimistic, saying things can only get better from here.

"Well what do you do? You cry or you just try to be positive in 2019," she said.

Marconi was injured in the crash and was treated at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. He was bailed from his hospital room and released on personal recognizance, according to police.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, Jan. 11 in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Police said anyone with additional information should contact Officer Charlie Raizes at 603-610-7534.

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