Watertown man faces charges of hitting two cyclists, driving while drunk

A Watertown man who allegedly left the scene of an accident after striking two cyclists while driving while drunk was arraigned in Brighton District Court on Thursday.

Joseph Besnilian, 23, of Watertown, faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol two counts of leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Sheila Lawn, asked for a bail of $5,000, but Besnilian was released on his own recognizance by Judge David Donnelly. He must also wear a GPS monitor, refrain from driving, remain drug and alcohol-free, and abide by a curfew.

According to prosecutors, Boston Police officers responded to Lincoln and Franklin streets at approximately 12:40 this morning to find emergency medical personnel treating two bicyclists who had been struck by a vehicle that then left the scene. A 25-year-old Watertown woman suffered injuries to both legs, while a 26-year-old Tyngsboro man received head and facial injuries. Both were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment.

While police and emergency personnel were at the accidents scene, an officer at North Beacon Street stopped a Volkswagen Jetta that was making loud scraping noises. When questioned, Besnilian reportedly slurred his speech and said he did not hit anyone. Looking at the car, however, police found blood sprayed on the passenger side and a broken passenger’s side mirror, according to prosecutors.

When questioned at Boston Police Headquarters, Besnilian reportedly told police that he had been drinking and “smoking weed” at his apartment before going to a club in Cambridge and then heading out to check out the area in the wake of Tuesday’s Red Sox win, prosecutors said.