VIDEO: Car crashes into karate studio while class is in session; owner says staff stopped driver from fleeing


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – Students and employees at a martial arts studio watched in disbelief Saturday afternoon as a car crashed through the wall while a class was in session.

Approximately eight people were training on the mat inside Leadership Martial Arts studio in Charlotte when the car flew over a nearby detention pond and crashed into the studio.

Luckily, owner Derek Richardson says none of the students or staff were injured.

“In all my years in martial arts I’ve seen a lot of wild things but I’ve never seen a car go through my wall,” Richardson said.

According to Richardson, the driver appeared to be driving under the influence and tried to flee the scene – even trying to “square up” with the martial arts studio owner – but was not allowed to leave before local police arrived.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the driver “unlawfully, recklessly, and in total disregard for the public’s safety, operated the suspect vehicle in such a manner that the suspect lost control of the listed vehicle.” They have not yet released information on what charges the driver may face.

Richardson said the dojo will be closed through at least Wednesday due to the damage to the building.

Staff had some fun with the newly boarded-up wall inside, writing slogans on it like: “car-ate classes this way” and “if you can dodge a car you can dodge a punch.”

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