Ex-Ald. Proco 'Joe' Moreno charged with DUI after Gold Coast crash

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A prominent former Chicago alderman was arrested for an alcohol-related incident that damaged several cars Sunday night.

Former Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno, 48, faces misdemeanor DUI charges after he allegedly crashed into at least eight parked vehicles and a tree Sunday in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

"It's just screeching metal, you know, the impact of screeching metal, and you heard it multiple times, so it was startling because it was like wow, it won't stop. It happened several times, so I knew I had to come down and take a look," said Michael Smith, neighbor. "I know several people who are in the political arena, and it's pretty shocking."

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Authorities said Moreno was headed southbound on Astor Street when he hit several parked vehicles along a four-block stretch of Astor on the Near North Side. The damage to cars span from 1200 North Astor to 1500 North Astor near Division. At least eight cars have damage, according to police.

Andrew Schneidwind, whose Honda Pilot was damaged, said he is shocked.

"I'm very surprised he made it as far as he did destroying cars along the way," Schneidwind said. "It's shocking that he made it all the way and he's messing up cars in such a big way for such a long distance. It's insane."

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Moreno crashed into a tree and planter box after hitting the parked cars. Police took the driver into custody on the scene and was taken to Northwestern Hospital in good condition.

No injuries were reported. Moreno was released because the charges against him in this case are all misdemeanors. But they are just one more strike against Moreno, who is still facing felony charges from another incident - also involving his car - nearly two years ago.

Moreno is currently facing four felony counts of insurance fraud and obstruction of justice stemming from an incident in which prosecutors say he falsely reported his vehicle stolen, when in fact he had lent it to a woman he was dating. He lost his seat in City Council.

ABC7 has reached out to his attorney for comment but has not yet heard back.
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