Espresso2Go deck damage

BOZEMAN, Mont. - A man is charged with a DUI and a coffee shop is making the most of a difficult situation after a hit-and-run in Four Corners over the weekend.

At 8 AM on Sunday, a man stopped by the Espresso2Go coffee hut in the parking lot of the Kountry Korner Café in Four Corners. He chatted with barista Cass Dalsey for 15-20 minutes before attempting to leave. In the process, the large horse trailer the man was hauling rammed into the side of the structure.

But instead of stopping, the man continued trying to drive away. Dalsey says he hit the coffee hut around 15 times before he succeeded in leaving, moving the coffee hut a few inches, destroying the deck, damaging another local business' sign, and setting the electrical box on fire in the process.

In a video of the incident posted to the Espresso2Go Facebook page, Dalsey can be heard saying "oh my god" in shock as the man continues to hit the structure.

After fleeing the scene and being tracked down by Montana Highway Patrol, 68-year-old Robert Reiter was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, and expired paperwork. MHP troopers say Reiter was not under the influence of alcohol - but another substance - during the incident. Reiter reportedly bailed out of the Gallatin County Detention Center on Sunday.

Despite the damage to the coffee hut and sparks flying from the electrical fire, Dalsey and the other customer present at the time were uninjured.

It's a tough blow for Espresso2Go owner Blaine Pederson, as small businesses already struggle to get through the coronavirus pandemic. Pederson says he hopes to reopen again on Wednesday morning after some electrical repairs.

In the meantime, Pederson is making lemonade from the lemons he was dealt, introducing a new specialty drink to mark the incident. The drink, called the "Hit-N-Run," has flavors of English toffee and dark chocolate mocha, and an advertisement for the drink says it includes "free electrical fires" and jokes to "just take off!" It will be available as soon as the Four Corners location reopens.

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