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Joseph Papoutsakis flees accident scene with prohibited weapon in car, police say

Published On: May 10 2013 07:09:17 PM EDT
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A driver who fled last month after crashing into a tree and damaging mailboxes and shrubbery is in more trouble after police found metal knuckles in his car, officials said.

Joseph A. Papoutsakis ran away after he uprooted a tree in front of 1708 and 1712 Chester Rd., Bethlehem, and collided with mailboxes and shrubbery with his blue 2009 Chevy Malibuat about 1:10 a.m. April 27, officials said.

Police found a pair of blue metal knuckles in the center console when they searched the car, officials added.

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Investigators tried to interview Papoutsakis at his apartment at 1781 Chester Rd., Bethlehem, but a man who started to come out after police knocked, went back inside and would not answer the door, officials said.

On May 4, a neighbor who witnessed the accident picked Papoutsakis out of a photo lineup as the man who ran away, officials said.

Papoutsakis told police early Friday morning that he only remembered hitting a curb as he was driving home on April 27, and that the metal knuckles were his, officials said.

Papoutsakis, 27, was charged with possessing a prohibited weapon and leaving the scene of an accident and was released on $5,000 unsecured bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 11 a.m. May 23.