I know in skating you're meant to expect the unexpected, but this really takes the biscuit. Andrei Lutai, who came 10th in Skate America, got drunk on Sunday night and ended up arrested after stealing a car!
Andrei Lutai, a 23-year-old from St. Petersburg, Russia, is currently in the Essex County Jail in Lewis facing charges of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Lutai allegedly stole a 2008 Chevrolet Impala parked along Main Street next to Central Garage around 10:45 p.m. Sunday. Lake Placid Police Sgt. Carol Hayes said employees of the business witnessed the theft and immediately called police. One employee got into a vehicle and followed Lutai.
Within five minutes, police spotted the Impala and pulled Lutai over. He was found to be intoxicated and arrested, Hayes said.
There may be more to this story than previously thought though:
Barrett said he expects Lutai's case to be resolved quickly because he said there were conflicting reports from witnesses about whether Lutai was the one who stole the vehicle and was behind the wheel. He said the Impala was already pulled over, next to the Econo Lodge on Cascade Road, when police showed up.
"I don't believe he was properly identified and I don't believe he was actually witnessed by police driving the motor vehicle," Barrett said. "At the time of the arrest, there were also serious communication problems with Mr. Lutai."
But for now:
Lutai was arraigned before village Justice Margaret Dorn and remanded to the Essex County Jail in Lewis in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. He's scheduled to appear in village court again at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Updates will be posted here as they come!