Man arrested after car plows into Champaign restaurant


    A car drove straight into Manzella's Italian Patio on south 1st Street Thursday morning. (Nico Haeflinger)

    A man in Champaign was arrested for a DUI Thursday morning.

    This came after he drove his car drove straight into Manzella's Italian Patio on South 1st Street.

    It happened around 3 a.m. Thursday.

    The owners have since boarded up the shattered windows and plan to reopen Friday.

    The driver was identified as 27-year-old Yoshio Cardona. Police said he was drunk when he barreled his BMW into the restaurant window.

    Despite the seriousness of the crash, Cardona only has a minor foot injury.

    Police said he was driving north on 1st Street when he crossed into the other lane and onto the sidewalk.

    The owners said the car also took out a parking meter, light pole and small tree.

    "We have a lot of supporters out there reaching out already that are praying for us and hoping that we get through this as soon as possible,” said Mary Manzella-Racz, manager of the Italian Patio.

    The third-generation restaurant has been in business since the 60s, being run by Manzella's two brothers.

    They say they were all shocked to wake up to the news.

    "It is not just a work place, it's our home away from home that we have spent countless hours with memories and work and family and love,” Manzella said. “It is just devastating not only to us, but to our loyal fanbase.”

    Cardona was arraigned in court Thursday afternoon.

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