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Car slams into Schenectady elementary school

Car slams into Schenectady elementary school

Martin Luther King Elementary School is closed today; to reopen Thursday
Car slams into Schenectady elementary school
Firefighters inspect damage to a classroom at King Elementary in Schenectady after this car drove though a window.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SCHENECTADY — A car slammed into Martin Luther King Elementary School early Wednesday morning, forcing the district to close the school for the day.

Classes will resume at the school Thursday, district spokeswoman Karen Corona said. She said the car caused damage primarily to an art classroom and a fifth-grade classroom. The fifth-grade class will be moved to another part of the building, while art classes will be held in other rooms, Corona said.

The car drove through a glass window at the school at around 12:30 a.m. and came to rest inside a classroom.

Tirado.jpg

Pictured: Estevon Tirado, 22, of Schenectady.

Structural engineers visited the school Wednesday and determined the building was safe for classes to resume, Corona said. The damaged part of the building will be closed to students as repair work goes on. Corona said the fifth-grade class will return to its regular room on Monday, and that final repairs to the art classroom will take about two weeks, as the district awaits glass to replace the window.

Police identified the driver as Estevon Tirado, 22, of Cleveland Avenue. He faces a host of charges related to the crash itself, as well as a short foot chase that followed.

Tirado recklessly lost control of the car on Delamont Avenue, went through the intersection with Steuben Street, then onto a grassy area and into the school, police said. School security video captured at least a portion of the incident, according to court documents.

Tirado faces one count each of second-degree reckless endangerment and fourth-degree criminal mischief, misdemeanors, related to the allegations of recklessness. He also faces multiple traffic infractions.

Officers found the car inside, but no driver. Individuals in the area gave a description of the possible driver and officers found him a short distance away. Tirado responded by running away, but officers soon arrested him after a brief struggle.

Police Sgt. Brian Whipple suffered an injury to his shoulder during the chase. He underwent X-rays and medical treatment at Ellis Hospital, according to the police report.

The injury to Whipple resulted in the only felony lodged against Tirado, second-degree assault. He also faces resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration counts, as well as violation marijuana possession.

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The crash at the school took place hours after police stopped Tirado Tuesday evening at Mason Street and Avenue A in the same car, records show.

He is accused of failing to obey a traffic device, failing to stop at a stop sign and failing to obey a police officer, all infractions, in that incident records show.

Inside his car console, officers found a revolver-style air pistol and marijuana in his jacket pocket, according to the police report. Both accusations resulted in violations filed against him.

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