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MIJ: San Rafael driver charged in ‘Area 51’ mission gone amok
Tuesday 8 Apr 2008, 06:17
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Gary Klien
Article Launched: 04/08/2008 05:05:21 PM PDT

A San Rafael man is facing felony drug and traffic charges after ramming other vehicles in what he called a secret government experiment for Area 51, authorities said.

Antonio Patrinostro, 43, was charged Tuesday with driving while intoxicated and causing injuries, reckless driving and hit-and-run with injuries, said Deputy District Attorney Linda Witong. A plea hearing is pending.

Patrinostro was arrested Sunday evening on southbound Highway 101 near the Lincoln Avenue offramp after his car bumped into three other vehicles in 55-mph traffic, said Officer Mary Ziegenbein of the California Highway Patrol.

Patrinostro “told the officer that the vehicle could fly if he went fast enough, and basically just started bouncing off of cars,” Ziegenbein said.

“He was under the influence of cocaine, Valium and marijuana and stated that it was a top secret experiment with his doctor for Area 51 and the government,” she added. “He also stated that he was working for a cure for AIDS by taking the drugs.”

Area 51 is a secretive military base in southern Nevada thought by UFO buffs to be a hub of extraterrestrial activity.

Patrinostro was booked into the county jail and bail was set at $50,000. He faces more than three years in prison if convicted.

Two motorists suffered minor injuries in the incident, Ziegenbein said.

Contact Gary Klien via e-mail at


1 Comment

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