Police Investigate Car Driven Down Art Museum Steps - KMSP-TV

Police Investigate Car Driven Down Art Museum Steps

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PHILADELPHIA -

Most people walk or run up and down the Art Museum steps. But the driver of a BMW convertible had other ideas as he drove his car down the steps that "Rocky" made famous.

Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross called it "idiotic, ridiculous and dangerous."

HughE Dillon, of PhillyChitChat, described catching the incident on tape by saying, "Suddenly in the middle of the steps, I see two headlights, and I'm like, 'That's unusual.'"

Dillon videotaped the driver as he made his way down the steps Thursday night just after midnight. His video and several more hit social media and lead police to investigate.

"Could have flipped the car, not to mention destructive,"Deputy Commissioner Ross told FOX 29.

Police say the driver turned himself in at Central Detectives for questioning Friday morning.

Sources say the damage to the Art Museum steps could be between $5,000 and $10,000.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office initially approved several charges against the driver, including a felony charge of criminal mischief.

But the D.A.'s Office later put out a press release stating, "After that decision was made by this office, Central Detectives decided to test the car in this case and not arrest the suspected perpetrator at this time."

We're told the suspected driver claims the brakes failed on his car -- even though the video shows the car going both forward and reverse as it snaked its way down the steps, with brake lights flashing on and off.

While police examine the vehicle and its brakes, the unnamed driver was released by detectives pending further investigation.

Meanwhile, everybody visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Friday was buzzing about what happened there overnight.

"If he's driving the car down the steps, he should be charged with something," said one man taking pictures at the "Rocky" statue.

"They shouldn't be defiling it like that," another museum visitor said.

Dillon said that while watching the car come down the stairs, "I really thought this guy could roll, and I was trying to figure out how many times will he roll before he hits my car."

Police towed the car Friday afternoon from the driver's apartment a few hundred yards from the steps.

They won't say if he told them why he drove his car down the iconic steps, but the late-night cruise down a city landmark could put him in hot water.

"I don't buy his story this was an accident," Dillon said "I don't want any copycatters. It is very dangerous. ... Don't drive down the steps. It's not the thing to do. It can be done. But don't do it."

Another visitor at the steps said, "Somebody could have been sitting on the steps, even a homeless person laying on the steps, you don't know -- could have killed somebody."

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