Man charged with DUI No. 7 after crash into tree at City Hall

2013-01-25T11:45:00Z 2013-03-19T13:45:06Z Man charged with DUI No. 7 after crash into tree at City HallGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

A man accused of crashing his car into a tree outside City Hall was charged Friday with what prosecutors say is his seventh drunken-driving offense.

Robert Luis Cedeno, 48, pleaded not guilty before District Judge Mary Jane Knisely to felony DUI and misdemeanor charges of driving without insurance, driving without a valid license and fleeing from officers during his arraignment. 

Bond was set at $20,000 after a prosecutor said Cedeno has five prior DUI convictions in New York between 1990 and 1995, and a sixth conviction in Wyoming in 2005.

Cedeno was arrested Jan. 11 after an officer saw a car on Third Avenue North attempt to turn left onto North 27th Street at high speed, according to court records. 

The car hit a curb in front of City Hall and crashed into a tree outside the building. The officer said he began to approach the car, but the driver backed up and drove away.

A second officer saw the car a few blocks away and noticed the bumper hanging down and barely attached. The officer tried to stop the car, but the driver continued and turned east onto Minnesota Avenue.

The officer followed for several blocks until the driver made an abrupt U-turn and pulled over on South 25th Street.

Cedeno refused all sobriety tests and declined to provide a breath sample. A blood sample was taken after a search warrant was obtained.

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