Middlesex County

Police: Vehicle involved in Watertown hit-and-run restaurant crash identified

WATERTOWN, Mass. — Police say they’ve identified the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash early Monday morning that caused significant structural damage to a restaurant.

Around 2:20 a.m., surveillance video captured a red Ford pickup truck barreling through Watertown and Galen Street and slamming into the front of the Jana Grill & Bakery.

The driver then backs up and runs over a downed light pole before fleeing the scene.

There were no injuries reported as the restaurant was closed at the time, but the building suffered extensive damage which owner Suren Keryan says may take months to fix.

“We have to fix it,” he said. “The bar is damaged and all the equipment that was under it. "

Also damaged was the heart of the restaurant — its authentic Armenian charcoal grill. “This is why people come here,” said Keryan. “We make all the tasty meat and vegetables on this.”

Six years ago, Keryan had the grill installed at a cost of around $12,000. There’s no telling how much it will cost to replace it — or who might be skilled enough to do the job.

Other things damaged or destroyed by the crash include pricey bottles of liquor, barware, glassware, and enormous plate glass windows.

And, by default, food. Since Jana can’t open and food has a limited shelf life — Keryan is giving it away.

“Everyone who wants some food, they can come and I will give all the fresh food, just give it out to people,” he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Watertown police were still looking for the driver of that red truck, though they did identify the suspect vehicle. Keryan hopes whoever it is, he’s not injured — given the surveillance video clearly shows his airbags failed to deploy on impact.

The investigation remains ongoing.

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