(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Downtown Colorado Springs business owners spent the day cleaning up and boarding up their walls after a car crashed through them early Sunday morning. Police reported that the incident stemmed from a domestic disturbance, culminating in a dramatic series of events involving a suspect identified as 24-year-old Fidencio Meza-Pelayo.
According to authorities, the altercation began around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday on South Prospect Street. Meza-Pelayo allegedly engaged in a dispute with his girlfriend, who fled the scene. Believing she sought refuge in a neighboring house, he attempted to break into the home. However, police say when he entered, the homeowner fired a single shot, striking Meza-Pelayo. Police report that he then fled the scene at high speed, subsequently crashing into multiple downtown businesses.
One of the affected business owners, Kevin Megyeri of Skirted Heifer, described receiving a call around 2:45 a.m. notifying him that a car had smashed through the front of his restaurant.
Megyeri expressed shock at the extent of the damage, noting the incredible speed at which the vehicle must have been traveling. The car not only plowed through Skirted Heifer but also struck a parked car and affected neighboring businesses, including an AT&T store and the Boulder Street Gallery.
After colliding with the parked car, Megyeri described how police told him the driver popped his tire on the corner of the block across the street, propelling a block of concrete through the AT&T store “like a cannonball.” Megyeri also said before crashing into Skirted Heifer, the vehicle also demolished a nine-foot-tall sign depicting a map of downtown, which ended up halfway down the block.
The AT&T store’s exterior was strewn with shattered glass, while the interior lay in ruins. Similarly, the Boulder Street Gallery required boarding up due to the damage sustained.
“It’s very scary that somebody can go that fast in a 25-mile-an-hour speed limit and just drive, not care,” said Megyeri.
Megyeri lamented the loss, particularly on the day of the Super Bowl which would typically be one of the busiest days of the year for his restaurant. Instead of preparing for the event, he found himself overseeing the boarding-up process.
Megyeri expressed concern for his staff and emphasized the uncertainty of when his business might reopen, especially if there is structural damage that could prolong the closure.
“I care for my employees and to watch them not going to be able to have a job for a while is really freaking me out right now,” Megyeri said emotionally.
In response to the incident, Skirted Heifer has launched a GoFundMe campaign to support its employees: Fundraiser by Kevin Megyeri : Car Crashes Into Skirted Heifer (gofundme.com)
Despite the setback, Megyeri is directing customers to his other restaurant, Bambino’s Urban Pizzeria, located nearby, and his alternate Skirted Heifer location on the east side of Colorado Springs, at 5935 Dublin Blvd.
Meanwhile, Meza-Pelayo faces charges, including kidnapping, assault, burglary, and various traffic offenses. Police say he is currently hospitalized for injuries sustained but expect him to survive.