Chappell D. Carter

Police nab parolee in U-Haul crash

Published Sep 12, 2017 at 12:00pm

The Utica man accused of crashing a U-Haul truck into the carport at Barry Funeral Home last month has been charged with driving without a license, according to city police.

Chappell D. Carter has been charged with aggravated unlicensed operation after police said witnesses originally lied about who was behind the wheel.

Police said Carter, 45, was driving a U-Haul truck on an improper driver’s license in the early afternoon of Aug. 8 when he tried to turn around in the front driveway at the Barry Funeral Home on West Chestnut Street. The moving truck was too tall for the carport overhang at the front of the funeral home and the crash caused extensive damage to the front of the Barry building.

Carter fled the scene of the crash by the time police arrived, authorities said, and he left behind his passengers.

Detective Jeffrey M. Lanigan said police were able to interview Carter’s girlfriend at the scene, but she lied to police and said another man was driving the U-Haul.

When investigators tracked down and questioned this other man, the man said he hadn’t spoken to Carter or the girlfriend in years, Lanigan explained.

He was cleared of any involvement in the crash and the investigation continued.

Lanigan said police went back to the girlfriend and questioned her again, at which point she admitted to lying and fingered Carter as the driver.

Police started to investigate Carter and discovered that not only had he since moved to Utica, but Carter had also been taken into custody by Utica Police on Sept. 1 for an unrelated domestic dispute.

While in county jail on the domestic charges, Lanigan said Rome Police charged him with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and for being an unlicensed operator.

Carter is scheduled to appear in City Court.

According to state records, Carter, a parolee, has served three stints in state prison. Carter served about three years for drug possession out of New York City between 1999 and 2002; Carter served another three years for attempted robbery out of Oneida County between 2003 and 2006; and Carter served roughly five years for burglary out of Oneida County between 2007 and 2017.

Carter was last released on parole on May 24, 2017.