California man arrested after allegedly crashing into Arlington yard, brandishing knife

ARLINGTON, Mass. — A California man is expected to be arraigned on multiple charges Wednesday after police said he crashed into an Arlington front yard and brandished a knife. A family of four, including a 3-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, was inside the home on Lublin Street. It happened Tuesday afternoon around 1:35 p.m.

The father of the household told Boston 25 News he was on a conference call in his basement at the time. He said his wife called for him to come upstairs to check out the commotion outside.

“I guess you don’t think at the time. You just run on instinct, trying to deal with the situation as best you can,” said Badre, who didn’t want to use his last name.

Badre believes the bushes and shrubs outside his home prevented the car from crashing into the house. He said the man inside the Nissan Versa was initially slumped over but suddenly regained consciousness.

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“He seemed to be under some sort of influence,” Badre recalled. “There was a knife, and that’s why we were like, okay, this person is not in the right state of mind.”

The father said the suspect bolted from the crashed car moments after he called police. Authorities arrested him just minutes later about 50 yards away. The Belmont and Lexington Police Departments assisted in the search, as did the Mass State Police and Medford Police K-9 units.

“My daughter was in a lot of distress,” Badre added. “As a father, that’s my utmost priority to keep my family safe.”

Police said the man, identified as 53-year-old Rodolfo Garces of Fresno, California, was seen operating the vehicle prior to the crash. Garces faces charges of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Leaving the Scene of a Crash After Causing Property Damage, and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.