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Officer climbs through car window, stops vehicle heading for crowd

An Orchard Park police officer climbed through a car window to stop a vehicle as it headed toward the crowd at Taste of Orchard Park and subsequently charged the woman behind the wheel with driving while intoxicated, police reported.

It happened shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday in the village, where North Buffalo Street was closed down for a community celebration and police manned roadblocks at each end to divert traffic. Police said a vehicle drove around the barricades near Princeton Place and was stopped by Lt. Jason Schiedel.

In talking with the driver, identified as Katherine Clare, 59, of Orchard Park, Schiedel determined she was under the influence of alcohol and ordered her to put the vehicle in park, turn it off and step outside, police said.

Instead, Clare drove away and accelerated toward the crowd, police said. Schiedel caught up with her and climbed into the window, turned off the car and removed Clare.

After failing field sobriety tests, Clare was charged with DWI, failure to comply with the order of a police officer, and unspecified vehicle and traffic violations.

Clare was released in her parents’ custody, pending an appearance in Orchard Park Village Court.