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Driver in downtown Auburn accident faces aggravated DWI, reckless driving charges

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  • Staff Report 

Auburn police have charged Joel Edward Rusin Jr. with eight offenses, including aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.


The charges stem from a crash in January where Rusin’s BMW collided with two other vehicles, flipping a Chevy Silverado onto its side and causing debris to scatter across the street and sidewalk. Rusin’s blood was sent to the New York State Police Crime Laboratory System for toxicology, which found his blood alcohol level to be twice the legal limit.

The Auburn Police Department said the crash was a result of a fight that occurred at Swaby’s Tavern on South Street. After a person was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Rusin pulled up to the officers in his BMW and drove off at 65 mph eastbound, ultimately crashing his vehicle into two other cars. Rusin was the only person injured in the accident, and he subsequently fled the scene before being found at his home a short time later.


The charges against Rusin include aggravated DWI, reckless driving, and failure to keep right, among others. He turned himself in on Saturday and was processed and released on an appearance ticket. The crash underscores the danger of driving while intoxicated and the need to hold accountable those who make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.