Police: Woman drove stolen SUV into business

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, a Northern Cambria flower shop got some unwanted traffic, as an allegedly intoxicated woman drove a stolen SUV into the business.

Debra L. Lyttle, 35, of 62 Fulton Drive, Nanty Glo, is accused of damaging a glass door and wooden support beam at Rouse’s Flower Shop & Greenhouse.

An officer was called to the shop along Route 219 about 8 p.m. Tuesday, when a caller reported the crash, according to a criminal complaint filed by Northern Cambria Borough police.

When the officer arrived, he was told that Lyttle was behind the wheel of a green Honda Pilot when it crashed into the building, according to the complaint.

The officer said he also saw evidence that Lyttle was intoxicated, including glossy eyes, slurred speech and an inability to keep her balance.

“I could smell a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting while she was talking,” the officer wrote in the complaint.

Lyttle allegedly admitted that she had been drinking at a friend’s house before getting into “her vehicle” and attempting to drive home, according to the complaint.

The officer later learned that Lyttle did not own the SUV and had driven it without the permission or knowledge of its owners, according to the complaint.

After an initial interview, Lyttle was asked to perform a number of field sobriety tests, which police said she failed.

She was then arrested and transported to Conemaugh Miners Medical Center for a blood test, police said. The results of that test showed Lyttle’s blood-alcohol content was 0.23 percent, according to the complaint. That is nearly three times the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent.

Online court documents show Lyttle faces felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property, as well as lesser charges of drunken driving, criminal mischief, public drunkenness, driving while on a suspended license, driving without a license and careless driving.

She was arraigned Wednesday morning before Magisterial District Judge Susan Gindlesperger. Lyttle is to appear for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Feb. 27 before Magisterial District Judge Michael Zungali.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Lyttle remained in Cambria County Prison, unable to post 10 percent of $50,000 bail. It is unclear if the Tuesday crash affected business at the flower shop.

A man answering phones at the shop Wednesday afternoon said he could not discuss the crash because he was “very busy.”

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