03 February 2012
On 2/2/12 at approximately 10:30 pm the City of Bethlehem Police Department responded to the North Streetparking garage to investigate a report of damage to one of the gates.
A witness reported to police that three men had broken the toll gate and driven away. A witness provided police a license plate which, after an initial NCIC search, police determined belongs to Marco Andretti. Accordingly, Mr. Andretti was noted as a potential suspect in a standard report prepared by police that became available to the media.
Local media outlets began calling the department and were told that the matter was an open investigation. It is the department’s procedure not to comment on open investigations. Nevertheless, some local media outlets published reports of the incident.
On the afternoon of 2/3/12, the police department obtained video surveillance footage of the incident. A thorough review of the video revealed no evidence that Marco Andretti was involved in damaging the gate. Additionally, police learned that a man contacted the Bethlehem Parking Authority the morning of 2/3/12, claimed responsibility for the incident and offered to pay for the damage.
Video surveillance shows two vehicles in line at the gate. After payment transactions are attempted, the gate appears as if it is not going in the upright position.
After some time elapses, a tall, thin male exits the left rear side of Mr. Andretti’s vehicle. He approaches and attempts to lift the gate but is unsuccessful. Another man approaches from the vehicle in line behind Mr. Andretti’s vehicle. Video shows the second man breaking the gate by forcing it from its connection to the motor housing. No one else is seen in the video.
Based on the investigation, the City of Bethlehem Police Department will not take any action against Mr. Andretti. The responsible party offered to make restitution and has accepted full responsibility for the damage to the gate.