A man accused of driving recklessly onto the grounds of the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris while under the influence of alcohol, injuring two people and sending parents and children fleeing for safety, was charged Wednesday with hit-and-run resulting in injuries and other felonies.

Carlos Jaime Gabaldon, 37, was forcibly taken into custody Sunday afternoon on the OERM property, located at A Street and Alpine Drive.

Along with the hit-and-run count, Gabaldon is charged with DUI resulting in injury, vandalism, resisting arrest and sentence-enhancing allegations of driving with a blood-alcohol level in excess of .15, refusing a chemical test and injuring multiple people during a felony offense.

Gabaldon was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and was slated to make his initial court appearance this afternoon at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Sheriff’s Lt. Raymond Huskey said deputies received reports of a motorist on the museum’s private tracks, used for “Thomas the Train” rides every week, about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, and a patrol vehicle soon spotted the defendant’s brown Chevrolet maneuvering aimlessly on the property.

Gabaldon “turned off the railroad tracks and onto a pedestrian walkway, causing pedestrians — adults and children — to flee from the path of the vehicle,” Huskey alleged.

After he turned down a closed access road, deputies swarmed his sedan and got it stopped, according to the lieutenant. Gabaldon was removed from the car, exhibiting signs that he was “impaired by alcohol,” at which point he was taken into custody, Huskey said.

Paramedics treated two people at the scene for minor injuries.

Museum officials said Monday that inspections were conducted along the tracks where the defendant meandered, and no damage was detected.

Gabaldon has no prior documented felony convictions in Riverside County.

–City News Service

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