Police question driver in ride down Art Museum steps

PHILADELPHIA - October 25, 2013

The 20-year-old driver of the BMW was released by police late Friday afternoon and not charged with any crime. But the investigators say this isn't over yet. Police will be taking a closer look at his vehicle because he claims this was not a joyride - he says his car brakes failed and the car went rolling down the Art Museum steps.

"Seeing two headlights at the top, I kind of knew immediately it was a car."

Photographer and blogger HughE Dillon happened to be on his way home from an event and captured video of the car making its way down the steps around midnight last night. The video shows the driver of a black older model convertible BMW driving down the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as onlookers cheered him on.

Dillon says, "I was a little nervous because he started going down the stairs and I was afraid he was going to roll and it was such an angle."

Eventually, the car made it to the street level and the driver sped off toward the Spring Garden Bridge.

This morning, the driver came into Central Detectives knowing that the video was going viral on the Internet. Police say he told them the ride down the Art Museum steps wasn't any kind of joyride.

He told investigators his car was parked at the top and in neutral, but the emergency brake failed and the car started rolling down the steps. He said halfway down, he jumped in and navigated the BMW safely to the bottom.

Brittnie Conover witnessed the incident and backs up the man's claims, telling Action News, "They were nowhere near the car, and nobody was around the car at all, like no other people who were with them or anybody else who was up there around the car. So, the car starts rolling and they all ran from the other side of the Art Museum."

Today, police towed the BMW from the driver's apartment building on the Ben Franklin Parkway for a closer inspection.

One investigator tells Action News that so far the videos collected of the incident back up his account that this was no stunt.

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