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Car drives into deli

32-year-old suspected in hit-and-run

By Scott Bellile

Beacon Street Deli has reopened after its entrance was smashed in by a hit-and-run driver over the weekend.

New London police responded to the crash at 422 E. Beacon Ave. just before 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. A vehicle struck the east side of the building head-on, causing the door to cave in and taking out about a 3-foot section of wall between the door and the northeast corner of the building.

Mary Lou Nelson, who operates Beacon Street Deli with her husband Paul, said the restaurant was closed one day – Sunday, Sept. 16 – but the incident still interrupted a typically strong day for business.

“It was just one business day, thank God, [but] it still kills you,” Mary Lou Nelson said from a business owner’s perspective.

“It is frustrating. You don’t expect people to do this kind of stuff,” she added.

Beacon Street Deli is always closed on Mondays, so the Nelsons used Monday, Sept. 17 to bring in a company to repair the entrance. By the next morning, customers were having breakfast as usual.

“I’ve got a lot of good customers,” Mary Lou Nelson said.

This is the second time in the Nelsons’ 33 years of running their business that the building was hit by a vehicle. The previous time was on the north side of the building in the dining area.

The crash report identified the suspected driver was 32-year-old Cole R. Berryman of New London. He was not injured.

Berryman allegedly fled from the scene and police later found him, according to the crash report.

Drug and alcohol tests were not conducted, and it was unknown whether distracted driving contributed to the crash, the crash report states.

New London Police Chief Jeff Schlueter said he expects Berryman will be cited for hit-and-run.

In Outagamie County Circuit Court, Berryman has unrelated forfeiture offenses pending for hit-and-run and failure to keep a vehicle under control, stemming from an Aug. 19 incident.

On Sept. 4, the court determined Berryman did not have a reason to refuse a test for intoxication after his arrest on Aug. 19. Berryman’s license was revoked for one year and he was ordered to have an interlock ignition device installed in his vehicle.

In May, his driver’s license had been revoked for six months following a first OWI offense in Fond du Lac County.

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